Snyder supervisors vote to delete zoning references from comprehensive plan

Richard Haines, Blair County Planning Commission Director, and Snyder Township supervisors were on hand at a special public meeting held last evening to answer questions from countless township residents concerning possible future zoning in the township.
The special meeting was scheduled to discuss a petition that was signed by approximately 1,500 residents against the mentioning of zoning in the township’s comprehensive plan, a group called the Concerned Citizens of Snyder Township Against Zoning. The petition was presented to the board of supervisors at the township’s regularly scheduled meeting on September 6.
During the public comment session at last evening’s meeting, several residents asked questions and voiced their concerns for or against zoning.
Haines explained a comprehensive plan and a zoning ordinance are “separate and distinct”. He said the township could have a comprehensive plan without a zoning ordinance. He also said the township could have a zoning ordinance without a comprehensive plan much like Logan Township.
Chairman of the supervisors Charlie Diehl said he looked over the petition that was presented to the board “day and night for two weeks”.
He said he looked up addresses and phone numbers and visited some people to make sure the ones who signed the petition all lived in the township.
“This is an overwhelming majority,” he said about the signatures on the petition. “You got my attention.”
He continued by saying, “I am making a motion that we delete any reference to zoning from our comprehensive plan.”
After he said this, most of the crowd broke into applause.
After some discussion, the motion was seconded by supervisor Jim Chronister. Then, Diehl, Chronister and supervisor Jim Miller all voted in favor of deleting any references to zoning from the township’s comprehensive plan.
The comprehensive plan will now be revised before being sent for review to the Blair County Planning Commission.
The discussion of zoning in the township’s comprehensive plan began when the Snyder Township Planning Commission and the EADS Group held a comprehensive plan community meeting at the Bald Eagle Fire Company on July 28.
The comprehensive plan was designed by the Snyder Township Planning Commission, a group of seven township residents who were appointed by the supervisors. Concerned residents said they did not want the future of the township, which includes about 3,000 to 4,000 residents, to be dictated by only seven people.
The comprehensive plan discusses the township’s past and current use of transportation, housing, infrastructure, land use, water and sewer, to name a few. One of the purposes of the comprehensive plan is to figure out where the township could possibly be in 10 to 20 years.
The planning commission also includes recommendations for the township in the comprehensive plan, one of which included a possible future zoning ordinance for the township.
Even though it was a recommendation, concerned residents felt the mentioning of zoning in the comprehensive plan would lead to an eventual zoning ordinance by the township.