The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


July 8, 2014

Hermitage rezoning request must provide more details

HERMITAGE — Hermitage Planning Commission has asked for more details before making a recommendation on a rezoning request – details that typically would accompany a different kind of submission.

Scheidemantle Motors, 1520 N. Hermitage Road, has asked to rezone a 1-5-acre, vacant parcel behind the dealership from single-family residential to highway commercial. Lawrence and Karen Shaffer own the parcel and would sell it to Scheidemantle.

Bryan Scheidemantle said he wants to use the 1.5-acre parcel for employee parking and general parking.

The dealership staff has doubled to 40 to 45 employees in recent years, and Scheidemantle said he would like to have dedicated employee parking.

Ron Phillips owns the Recreation Station property to the north of Scheidemantle Motors, and the Sheetz property to the north of Recreation Station. He said he has concerns about how the parking lot, if approved, would impact storm water flow. There is a spring just to the east of his property, and lots of water flows down the hill to the rear of the subject parcels.

“I’m worried about being flooded out by more blacktop, Phillips said.

He also asked about any plans to extend the road off Lamor Road that runs behind Sheetz.

City Director of Planning and Development Marcia A. Hirschmann said both of those issues would be considered should Scheidemantle submit a land development plan to build the parking lot.

City Manager Gary P. Hinkson said the city has no plans to design or build the road extension.

“We have other funding priorities in the city,” he said.

However, the commission members wanted those types of details up front. They also said they wanted information on buffering and thoughts about rezoning more land to highway commercial north to Lamor Road.

Commissioner member Dr. John V. Coupland said the commission needs direction from the city concerning its plan for the area as a whole.

“It starts at the top,” Coupland said. “What are we going to do?”

City officials pointed out that a rezoning is permanent and land development plans can change or be scrapped. In considering a rezoning request, planners are looking at whether the uses allowed in that zone are compatible with the area, they said.

Commission member Matt Liburdi made a motion to deny the rezoning request, to which Coupland seconded, but Charles E. Rogers, MaryDee Wellman-Donald, T.J. Rollinson and Steele voted no.

The commission then tabled the rezoning request for a month and asked that city officials and property owners get together to address the commission’s questions.

Hirschmann said she will update the board in August, but would not have a land development plan for consideration. The city commissioners’ public hearing on the rezoning previously was set for Aug. 27, giving the planning commission another month to act.

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