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Here’s what needs to happen for Patton Crossing to become a reality

Bob Poole of 1752 North Atherton Street Associates speaks about the plans for Patton Crossing during a public hearing for the rezoning on May 9 at the Park Forest Middle School Auditorium.
Bob Poole of 1752 North Atherton Street Associates speaks about the plans for Patton Crossing during a public hearing for the rezoning on May 9 at the Park Forest Middle School Auditorium. Centre Daily Times , file

The proposed Patton Crossing development is one step closer to becoming a reality.

After a three-hour public hearing Wednesday, the Patton Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a zoning ordinance (mixed-use overlay district) that allows for a mix of commercial and residential use on developments like Patton Crossing.

However, the future of the proposed Patton Crossing development hinges on the rezoning of the site, 1752 N. Atherton St., which is the location of the former Penn State Mobile Home Park.

The supervisors continued the public hearing on the rezoning of that particular site until their next meeting on Wednesday, where they will consider taking action.

The front 200 feet along North Atherton is zoned C-1 (general commercial), but most of the land is zoned R-3 (medium density residential). Developer North Atherton Street Associates wants the property to be rezoned as C-2 (planned commercial) with the mixed-use overlay to allow for commercial, office, hotel and residential uses for the entire 28 acres.

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The initial zoning ordinance failed to pass at the public hearing in May after board members and residents voiced concern about affordability and development density. In response, the ordinance was amended to include incentives to developers if more affordable housing units are included in project plans.

The first proposal required 5 percent (15-18 units) of the about 350 residential units to be affordable housing, but twice as much is now possible with the new MXD2 ordinance.

Developers will be allowed to build an additional market-rate unit for every additional housing unit over the 5 percent base requirement, with a 10 percent cap. Those additional units would be exempt from the residential density limit and the development's impervious coverage would increase as a result.

Some other aspects of the zoning ordinance include:

  • The MXD2 regulations apply to properties of at least 20 acres in size that is zoned C-2.

  • Maximum building height is 60 feet.

  • One landmark feature can be included on the site (freestanding structures can be up to 75 feet or if it's mounted to a building, it could be 20 feet above the roof).

  • No single building can exceed a footprint of 60,000 square feet.

  • Maximum impervious coverage is 75 percent of the site.

  • The developments must include a public gathering place.
  • Where building setbacks are 30 feet or greater, a 30-foot-wide landscape buffer is required.

Many in attendance raised concerns about possible issues arising in developments with the MXD2 zoning, such as impervious surface, stormwater runoff, sinkholes and traffic. The supervisors said they will be careful and vigilant in addressing those concerns.

“I can assure you that we will continue to monitor at every stage of the whole process,” supervisor Dan Trevino said.

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