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Pa. hospital zone request forwarded to plan commission

August 13, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A requested change in zoning for Chambersburg Hospital will be reviewed by the Chambersburg Planning and Zoning Commission following a vote Tuesday by the Borough Council.

The hospital is asking that an area from the west side of North Coldbrook Avenue to North Seventh Street be changed from residential to a health care service district, according to the proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance. The hospital owns the majority of the properties on that side of Coldbrook and on Seventh, according to John Massimilla, the hospital's vice president for operations.

Massimilla and Bryan Salzmann, an attorney for the hospital, presented the plan for the district, which included 26 permitted uses, including outpatient clinics, professional offices, laboratories and parking areas.

The hospital is a non-conforming use in a residential zone, so many changes at the facility have to be approved by variance or special exception by the borough's zoning hearing board. Massimilla said Monday that creating the district would eliminate that step.

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"I've read Bryan's proposal and he's not only thrown in the kitchen sink, but the bathtub, as well," said Sixth Street resident Pam Bartl. She and other residents say they are concerned about the affect of the zone adjoining their properties.

Bartl said she is worried the hospital may seek to buy more properties and expand the zone in the future to accommodate nursing homes and other facilities.

The proposed district still has to be reviewed by the planning and zoning commission, which will make a recommendation to the council. Public hearings before the commission and the council would be part of the process before the district is approved or rejected by council, Council President William McLaughlin said Monday.

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