In the wake of a rejected zoning change request that would have added business district space on Big Tree Road in Sugar Grove Borough, members of borough council are looking for insight as to where development should occur.
“We’re in an expansion area,” Councilman Les Lyon said at Monday night’s meeting. “Where do we want to expand our commercial property?”
“We’ve got people wanting to spend money in our community,” council President Kevin McIntyre said. “Maybe let them pick?”
Councilman Gregory Wilson proposed that the March meeting be used to encourage people “to come in and discuss areas where people will like to see development. Where do they envision those transpiring?”
He said that, once that information is gathered, council could take a look at the borough’s zoning map to see if any changes need to be made.
The discussion stems from a request from borough residents Eric and Lisa Hagberg to take 2.5 acres of their residential property on Big Tree Road and change the zoning designation to business transitional. The Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission approved the request but, in the face of neighborhood pressure, the Warren County Commissioners voted 2-1 in opposition of the change in January.
“We can’t keep letting people fall prey. An incentive to sell land to business is not fair,” Wilson added. “We have a responsibility to the people that live here. Those people saw an opportunity and had every right to pursue it. (We) don’t have a (zoning) map that provides for real growth opportunity.
“I do think updating that map would save a lot of our residents the headache” of meeting resistance to future business opportunities, he continued. “It isn’t fair to say we don’t need the needs of our community addressed. It is a commercial community. It can continue to be. The Hagbergs are a resident, not Dollar General. I have a vested interest in the expansion of business in this community. It would make us resilient and provide income in a variety of ways.”
The March meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, March 4 at the borough building.