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Planners reject Martin's rezoning request

August 15, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A rezoning request that would ultimately convert a former convenience store into a financial institution fell out of favor with the Waynesboro Planning Commission on Monday.

The planning commission has recommended the council reject developer Ronnie Martin's plans to take the property on Pa. 316 from medium-density residential to general commercial.

The convenience store had been a nonconforming use on the site since it was rezoned to residential in 1990, when the borough's comprehensive plan was updated.

New Planning Commission member Stephen Monn made the motion to reject the rezoning, saying it could open the possibility of rezoning the entire street. His motion was backed by the other two planning commission members at the meeting: Jon Fleagle and Don Weller.

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"My concern is that it'll set a precedent, and we'll just see zoning changes trickle down the street," Monn said.

Mike Walters of 315 N. Grant St. agreed he would consider rezoning his house to commercial for financial benefit.

The Franklin County (Pa.) Planning Commission had originally expressed concern that Martin's proposal could be spot zoning but later reversed that call.

"Zoning law is a peculiar area of the law," said the planning commission's solicitor, Melissa Dively.

The determination whether a request is spot zoning is based on size of the parcel, topography, location, characteristics and if the rezoned land would be treated differently from surrounding properties. The property at 405 N. Grant St. abuts residential zoning in the borough and commercial zoning in Washington Township, Pa.

A traffic study found that an average of 2,300 vehicles travel south on the road each day. They also travel, on average, 15 miles per hour faster than the posted 25-mph speed limit, the report said.

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