EDA Wants Biz Park Setback Eased For Bus Company

By Lisa Mickles, Pike County Dispatch, December 20, 2012
BLOOMING GROVE — Now that the potential buyer for a parcel in the Pike County Business Park has purchased property elsewhere off Route 6 in Shohola Township, Pike County Economic Development Authority (PCEDA) Executive Director Michael Sullivan approached the supervisors regarding another possible tenant. At Monday night’s meeting, Sullivan requested that the township consider reducing their 150-foot setback restriction to 10 feet to allow for a bus garage and parking area for G. Davis Bus Company’s fleet of 25 school buses.
The 17-acre property located off Route 434 would be part of a 100-acre parcel that the PCEDA is looking to keep and not include as a swap for 154 acres of state forest lands in Palmyra and Greene Township. PCEDA is looking to trade 500 acres of the Pike County Business Park, which consists mostly of wetlands and bog for the property since it would better attract potential clients since it sits at the intersection of Interstate 84 and Route 390 and already has road access. Sullivan urged the supervisors to reconsider the setback restrictions since it is a non-manufacturing business. He said that they would plant a natural screen and erect fencing to camouflage the buses from the public.
Township Supervisor Randy Schmalzle said that the township’s zoning ordinance and the Business Park’s covenants and restrictions were set in place through a multi-year process that was contingent on keeping the setback restrictions in place to protect private homeowners once the business park was constructed. Sullivan reminded Schmalzle that the homeowners of Camelot Forest would be happier with the fact that they plan on swapping 500 acres of the business park with the state to keep it in its natural state, which would substantially reduce future impact of large businesses moving into the area. The supervisors said they must follow their zoning ordinance regulations but said attorneys from both sides can discuss possible options that would protect the public while also helping with economic development in the area… for complete story, get this week’s story.