Logan weighs zoning changes to reflect current land use

Logan Township’s planning commission is proposing changes to its zoning map and ordinance, which appear to reflect current land use but might influence future development.

Supervisors will likely be reviewing the proposed changes at one of their July meetings, township Director of Zoning Cassandra Schmick said.

In a meeting last week, the commission reviewed and agreed to several revisions to the zoning map.

One shows an area along Pleasant Valley Boulevard near Greenwood changing from residential to business, for the parcels bordering Pleasant Valley Boulevard.

“There are a couple of houses along that road, which have gone up for sale, and people call and ask if they can do a business there,” Schmick said. “But they can’t because it’s zoned residential.”

If that area is zoned for business, the houses could still be used as residences, she said, but other options would be available too.

“That’s been kind of stagnant area,” planning commission member Joan Barr said.

“That strip is filled with businesses,” planning commission member Randy Donnelly said.

Schmick also proposed dividing an industrial zoned area around and close to Burgmeier’s Hauling so the area on the west side of Sixth Avenue would be zoned for heavy industry and the area zoned on the east side of Sixth Avenue is zoned for light industrial.

While Ward Trucking would be in the proposed light industrial area, it would be viewed as an exception and retain some expansion options, Schmick said.

Another rezoning proposal calls for changing the Logan Town Centre complex from light industrial to business but allowing the land behind the complex to retain its light industrial zoning.

Some additional zoning changes were recommended, but none around Penn State Altoona that would affect current zones influencing the location of student housing.

Supervisors also have a draft document listing structures permitted in areas zoned for business, light industrial and heavy industrial use.

Based on the draft document, restaurants would be allowed in light industrial zones but not in heavy industrial zones.

The draft also indicates that freight and trucking terminals could operate in heavy industrial zones but not in business zones or light industrial zones.

Gas drilling operations, regulated by the state, have to be permitted in all zones, Schmick said.

But sexually oriented businesses, currently permitted in the township’s agricultural zone, can be prohibited in other zones.

Planning commission members praised Schmick for her presentation and preparation.

It was prompted by Supervisors Chairman Frank Meloy’s suggestion in January that the township take on a review of its current zoning designations and consider if they could be updated and more user-friendly.

The township’s current zoning ordinance dates back to 1979, but supervisors have adopted many amendments over the years.