Cranberry ‘receptive’ to concerns over proposed zoning change

Cranberry Township supervisors reviewed results of a public hearing held Feb. 23 regarding a proposed zoning change.

At the hearing, Cranberry Township Manager Eric Heil said the reasoning behind the change was a request by property owner Scott Snow, who wants to develop a .69-acre parcel along Route 322 and add a small market village similar to one that exists in Tionesta.

He said the parcel is split-zoned, with about one half being mixed use and the other half being residential. The requested change would make the entire property mixed use, which would allow the development to take place.

Heil said the second part of the proposed ordinance would change the existing minimum lot size for nonresidential uses of 1 acre to .3 acre, as most of the lots in the mixed-use area are much smaller than 1 acre, which makes future nonresidential development difficult.

Several township residents provided testimony about the project at the public hearing.

The board on Thursday revisited the proposed change. Heil said the proposed ordinance would be altered from .3 acre to a half-acre.

“We are being receptive to the concerns of the township residents,” he said.

A public hearing on the issue will be held as part of the supervisors meeting at the end of April.

Heil also reported on a “nonsubstantive” change to the township’s decommissioning conditions with Cypress Creek Renewables, which leased 203 acres land in the township. About 140 acres of that land will be fenced for a solar farm between Bucktail Road and Cranberry-Rockland Road.

Heil said the changes include the requirement of a bond equaling 110% of the decommissioning costs and a decrease if the decommissioning cost should decrease. An additional change is the frequency of inspections. The township initially insisted on an inspection every five years.

That has been changed to an inspection every eight years.

Roadmaster Ed Williams reported to the board that he had recently visited the State Correctional Institution in Marienville. He said the inmates are involved in vocational training that involves sanding and welding of vehicles owned by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and municipalities.

He said having the inmates do the work would save the township money and extend the life of the township’s vehicles. He said the township would be responsible for materials used by the inmates.

Supervisor Matt McSparren said it “seems worthwhile.” The board gave Williams permission to explore the possibilities.