Commission works on industrial vs. residential zone

At its September meeting, the Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a text change to the zoning ordinance that, if approved by the county commissioners, would permit residential development in industrial zones.

County officials brought the issue before the commission originally because of a situation in Conewango Township where portions of River Road are in use as residential but are actually zoned industrial.

The problem?

A 2008 zoning ordinance amendment prohibited new residential development from occurring in industrial zones in the future.

“The supervisors did not get together and make a formal decision so we may have jumped the gun here,” Chairman Dale Forbes said during the commission’s Tuesday meeting.

County Planner Dan Glotz said that his office received a letter from the supervisors outlining their position. “Conewango is recommending that the section of River Road that is developed residential that is industrial be rezoned residential,” he said, noting that the township recommended the industrial areas remain zoned in that manner.

“Why rescind something that we have done countywide?” commission member Jeff Zariczny asked.

“We do have other municipalities that are zoned industrial that are better suited for residential development,” said Glotz. “What you could end up seeing, rezoning this as opposed to a language change, (we) could get requests from other municipalities.”

Glotz said that the township does have a say in the process but the final authority rests with the county commissioners.

Zariczny said that he saw the text change and rezoning as two separate issues.

The text change request will now be forwarded to the commissioners for consideration.