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Commissioners sign off on zoning change, rec plan

The Warren County Commissioners signed off on a change to the county’s zoning ordinance that will permit multi-family residences in business zoning districts.

A public hearing was held on the change before the commissioners formally approved it during the regular meeting Wednesday.

Commissioner Ben Kafferlin said the Planning Commission reviewed the recommendation and indicated the commission believes this may have been an oversight as multi-family dwellings are allowed in business transitional and industrial.

“Why the donut hole, we don’t know,” he said, calling the change “pretty straightforward.”

This is just a formality really,” Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said.

At last month’s Planning Commission meeting, Zoning Officer Michael Lyon said he was approached by someone who has a property in a business district on State St. in North Warren who expressed difficulty finding renters for commercial use and wanted to pivot to developing apartments.

Officials think the prohibition is likely an oversight from “some point in the past” because business transitional districts can have multi-family and that zoning designation is more restrictive than business.

The county’s zoning ordinance covers Clarendon, Sugar Grove and Tidioute boroughs, as well as Columbus, Eldred, Southwest, Deerfield, Pleasant, Conewango, Pine Grove, Elk, Glade and Mead townships.

RECREATION PLAN APPROVED

The county commissioners also formally approved the county’s recreation plan.

Eggleston encouraged the board to review the document as there are “several recommendations (we) will be carrying out in very short order,” such as some of the “committees that it recommends.”

He said it is “very project-oriented” and “One of the best plans I’ve see. I think it’s something that is going to be very actionable.”

Kafferlin said he was “impressed with the pieces I saw” and said he’d appreciate a presentation on the final plan at a future meeting.

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