Warriors Mark advised to alter land use ordinance

Huntingdon County officials have suggested that the Warriors Mark Supervisors alter their land use ordinance to better suit the way the township’s new zoning ordinance functions.
Prior to the March 2005 passage of the zoning ordinance, developers in Warriors Mark Township were required, according to the land use ordinance, to set aside 50 percent of any developed land as “open space,” a measure geared toward maintaining the rural feel of the area.
The township solicitor supported the board’s decision to adopt a zoning ordinance, noting that the land use ordinance was “difficult to enforce” and would probably “be hard to hold up in a court of law.”
“Their township solicitor, Larry Clapper, said he had many problems with the existing land use ordinance,” explained county planner Richard Stahl. “He felt that it was hard to up hold.
“Now, the requirement for 50 percent open space as detailed in the land use ordinance is somewhat obsolete, considering that the standards for open space in the new zoning ordinance are much more strict. The township will now be able to enforce more open space, due to the fact that much of the township is set aside as agricultural land where very little development will take place.”
Warriors Mark Township officials labored for better than two years, developing the zoning ordinance, and in the process, hosted many well-attended monthly meetings where residents on both sides of the debate voiced their opinions quite loudly. The March 2005 meeting was the setting for the new ordinance’s passage and also served as the culmination of a long, hard road.
“These decisions were not made easily,” said Warriors Mark board chairman L. Stewart Neff at the March meeting. “Times are changing, and if we don’t do something now, we’re going to be in a situation where we won’t be able to stop out-of-control growth.
“That’s our goal here: To develop some sort of system to control unwanted growth.”
Stahl said the county planning commission will advise Warriors Mark to remove the 50 percent open space stipulation from the land use ordinance.
“It no longer applies, so it’s not necessary,” Stahl said.
The Warriors Mark Supervisors speculate that the entire zoning process, from preplanning to passage, cost the township roughly $25,000.