The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 10, 2013

Valley approves zoning change on McCracken Road

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— VALLEY TWP. — Six residents showed up over concerns of changing zoning along McCracken Road in Valley Township.

No one spoke out Wednesday night about a proposal to change zoning of five acres east of Sheridan Road and north of Red Roof Road from residential 2 or high density residential to commercial highway or C2 use.

The township supervisors held a public hearing on that proposal by James DeGreen and a request by DeGreen to change about 6 and a half acres on the south side of McCracken Road to an Interstate 80 right of way, east to Carl Weaver’s property and west to the Southland log home and Derr properties from residential 1 to commercial highway or C2 use.

Supervisors’ Chairman Gary Derr and Supervisors’ Vice Chairman Walt Rupert approved the changes. Supervisor Judy Achy abstained from voting.

Jack Diehl, who lives at 225 McCracken, voiced concern about heavier traffic with the zoning change along McCracken Road. He said trucks can cause difficulties at the intersection with Route 54.

Another resident said McCracken Road wasn’t in the greatest shape and the township doesn’t have the money to bring it up to today’s standards. He said tractor trailers, dump trucks and buses could beat the road to death.

Rupert said he had some concerns that commercial zoning along McCracken Road could get out of hand. He said he wasn’t opposed to the change but had a concern about keeping aesthetics of rural neighborhoods.

Zoning officer Mike Kull said the request to change the zoning of the five acres involves property that isn’t conducive to high density residential use.

Resident John Derr said he had concerns about traffic if the zoning were changed but, on the other hand, believes people should have the freedom to use their land the way they want.

One woman said drivers on McCracken Road don’t travel 35 mph. “I’m afraid there’s going to be a terrible problem,” she said.

Achy said she wanted more time to decide on the proposed changes and made a motion to table action until the supervisors’ November meeting. Her motion died for lack of a second.

The supervisors had 90 days to make a decision.

Supervisor Derr said he has heard about traffic concerns and added the supervisors have approved zoning changes in other areas of the township. “It’s progress. You’re not going to stop it or change it,” he said.

“We can’t sit down and make a decision on potential changes,” Rupert said.

Rupert made a motion to approve the changes with Derr seconding the motion.