Hollidaysburg will lose more than a mill

The Borough of Hollidays­burg must eventually decide if a valuable piece of its residential district should be permitted to be paved over and built upon, in the best interests of the First United Methodist Church.

Bell Street is a quiet, tranquil, secluded and picturesque residential neighborhood. People have made their homes here because they choose to live in this comfortable, idyllic setting. The area is zoned residential, specifically, to preserve this.

Zoning protects their investment, and it also protects the investment of the all the residents who take stock in this place of Hollidaysburg as a unique and gratifying residential community.

This zone requires homes to be built — not parking lots, not noisy activity centers; nor outdoor amphitheaters.

If this same property is correctly subdivided, no less than four additional single family homes, or townhouses, could be built there. This could provide substantial tax revenue to the borough, whereas the church could be exempt from paying any taxes on annexed ground, under state law.

The borough, as a whole, would end up the losers of revenue and the neighborhood residents would significantly lose the value of their peaceful and attractive properties, for the convenience of a few.

Hollidaysburg is a beautiful town to walk through. People celebrate walking here and, indeed, visit here to do just that.

In order to alleviate this parking problem, I encourage the parishioners to intentionally park many blocks away from their church and enjoy a nice, leisurely Sunday stroll to services, through the splendor and magnificence of our tree-lined, historic neighborhoods.

It’s healthy, satisfying and good for the soul, and it’s a much better way to show benevolence, and outreach, toward the community than laying down more asphalt.

Patrick Baechle