Town­ship says no to zon­ing law change

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - OBITUARIES - By Bob Keeler

A plan that would have pre­served a heller’s Church Road prop­erty in Bed­min­ster by trans­fer­ring the devel­op­ment rights and in­creas­ing the amount of homes al­lowed on two other tracts in the Pipersville area and off Bucks Road LV QRZ RI­fiFLDOOy GHDG.

There is a to­tal of about 600 acres on the three tracts. About 200 homes would have been built on the Pipersville and Bucks Road sites un­der a plan pro­posed by the Piper Group.

Bed­min­ster’s rules cur­rently al­low the trans­fer of devel­op­ment rights to prop­er­ties zoned for in­dus­trial use, but not to other zon­ing dis­tricts, so a change in town­ship rules would have been needed in or­der for the plan to move for­ward. The three tracts are in the Agri­cul­tural Preser­va­tion zon­ing district that makes up most of the town­ship.

Af­ter neigh­bors of the Pipersville and Bucks Road sites raised ob­jec­tions dur­ing a De­cem­ber meet­ing, Rob Sigety, pres­i­dent of the Piper Group, said the pro­posal was be­ing dropped and the prop­er­ties will in­stead be devel­oped as sep­a­rate tracts within ex­ist­ing town­ship rules.

At a later meet­ing, other res­i­dents sup­ported the plan as a way of pre­serv­ing farm­land.

At the Jan. 9 Bed­min­ster Town­ship Board of Su­per­vi­sors meet­ing, the board made a short an­nounce­ment that it would not change the zon­ing laws to al­low the pro­posal, Jack Terry, town­ship man­ager, said.

“They were con­cerned be­cause they had heard from many res­i­dents who were ap­pre­hen­sive about the pro­posal,” Terry said.

“Rather than have the peo­ple stew, they de­cided to PDNH D VWDWHPHQW DW WKH fiRVW real meet­ing of the year,” Terry said. “They wanted to put peo­ple’s minds at ease, at least what the po­si­tion of the su­per­vi­sors was.”

Some of the prop­erty in­volved in the pro­posal was part of a le­gal bat­tle that went to the Penn­syl­va­nia Supreme Court, which sided with lower court rul­ings that up­held Bed­min­ster’s rules for de­ter­min­ing the num­ber of homes al­lowed.

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