After an unsuccessful attempt to advertise the proposal 16 months ago, Zelienople Borough Council will discuss repealing the planned residential development section of its zoning ordinances.
At its March 29 meeting, council approved the advertisement of a proposed ordinance repealing the entirety of the planned residential development, or PRD, ordinance. Council previously addressed the possibility of doing so in November 2019, but backed off following heavy opposition.
Borough manager Don Pepe said Zelienople has discussed the repeal of that section with developers who may have been interested in using it, calming their fears that the repeal would prevent them from developing a property. Pepe added the borough plans to replace that section in the near future.
The PRD, in its current iteration, according to Pepe, is “flawed” when it comes to requirements for setbacks, height and density, among other issues.
“A lot of it has to do with where it applied,” Pepe said. “First of all, it is applied everywhere in the residential districts. That makes no sense. It had inherent flaws in its creation. Why that happened, I have no idea, but it did.
“It's not something this borough should keep on the books because of the flaws in it.”
Pepe said there are no pending applications under the PRD, and added the borough has managed to ensure the future ordinance, once it is considered and approved, meets the needs of those wishing to use it while providing more protection for the borough.
He also noted the borough wants to hear any concerns about future developments under the replacement ordinance when applications for use are submitted.
“When an application is finally submitted within the new ordinance, then all of these concerns from the property owners that surround that property are going to be listened to. It's going to be transparent, we're going to address them,” Pepe said. “But we're going to address them within the framework of the new ordinance, which is designed to protect the borough more. Our job is to make sure it is done correctly. The goal is not to stop development; the goal is to make sure it happens correctly.”
The ordinance repealing the PRD will be considered by council at an April meeting. Pepe estimated the replacement would be ready for advertisement at some point in late April or May.