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City council approves zoning exception

City Council on Monday approved the vacant former DSI building in Eldorado for “conditional use” as an educational facility for special needs and autistic individuals.

Council acted in the matter as though it were the Zoning Hearing Board, based on a provision in the city code governing general industrial zones, where educational facilities are not a permitted use, according to Codes and Inspections Department Director Rebecca Brown.

Establishing the school and day care in the building located behind 84 Lumber on Industrial Park Drive is compatible and “harmonious” with the surrounding neighborhood, thus fulfilling requirements for conditional use, according to Adam Long of Keller Engineers, representing the building’s owner, RADD Development Co.

“A good fit,” Keller said of the structure, which is between the Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 building and the Devorris Center for Business Development.

The use would require minimal interior renovations, create no obstacles for future development, cause no change in the “character” of the existing neighborhood, affect no property values, add no problematic burden on infrastructure and inflict no harm due to noise, smoke or other emanations, Long said.

The property is accessed from 37th Street in front of the Devorris building, which is headquarters for the Altoona Blair County Development Corp.

There is the possibility that a new driveway could be constructed to connect the structure with the IU-8 building, according to officials.

There are actually two organizations with similar missions interested in moving in, Long said after the meeting.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.

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