Former mobile home park can now become Patton Crossing development

The former Penn State Mobile Home Park on North Atherton Street has proposed plans to be built into Patton Crossing.
The former Penn State Mobile Home Park on North Atherton Street has proposed plans to be built into Patton Crossing. Centre Daily Times file

Patton Township supervisors unanimously voted Wednesday to rezone the proposed Patton Crossing development site, 1752 N. Atherton St.

The property, formerly the location of Penn State Mobile Home Park, has been rezoned to planned commercial with a new mixed-use overlay district — that zoning designation was created in response to the Patton Crossing development proposal and approved by the supervisors (with some modifications) at their last meeting.

The site previously was zoned general commercial for the front 200 feet along North Atherton Street, with most of the rest of the land zoned R-3 (medium density residential). The planned commercial zoning with the mixed-use overlay will allow the developer, North Atherton Street Associates, to include commercial, office, hotel and residential uses for the entire 28 acres.

The supervisors had to first approve the mixed-use overlay as a new zoning designation, before they could apply it to this particular development.

Patton Township residents have been vocal since the development was proposed about their concerns — even working with the township to establish an advisory committee.

“Our committee is obviously disappointed that the supervisors rejected our assessment that Patton Crossing is too dense and intense for this site,” the Patton Township Citizens Advisory Committee said in a statement. “We advocated that (60-foot) buildings be limited to 50 percent of the buildable site, but instead 100 percent is allowed. We also objected to having more than 80 percent impervious cover allowed. We believe the more than 300,000 square feet of commercial allowed in addition to all the residential will create significant traffic problems.”

Mixed-use overlay zoning will be an option for other developments that meet certain requirements.

As previously reported, some other aspects of the new zoning ordinance include:

  • The mixed-use overlay regulations could apply to properties that are at least 20 acres and zoned planned commercial (C-2).
  • Maximum building height is 60 feet.
  • One landmark feature can be included, either a freestanding structure up to 75 feet tall or something mounted to a building that’s 20 feet above the roof.
  • No single building can exceed 60,000 square feet.
  • Maximum impervious coverage is 75 percent of the site.
  • The developments must include public gathering place.
  • A 30-foot landscape buffer will be required where building setbacks are 30 feet or more.

Developers utilizing the mixed-use overlay will be allowed to build an additional market-rate unit for each additional affordable housing unit over the 5 percent base requirement, with a 10 percent cap.

“We are pleased that the revised zoning ordinance may increase the number of affordable housing units, but disappointed that this would add to impervious cover and to density that is already too great for this site,” the advisory committee statement said. “This new (mixed-use overlay) zoning gives supervisors more power to monitor the developers’ design.

“We plan to attend future township meetings to closely monitor the development as it goes through the master plan and land development plan stages, and we invite citizens to stay engaged through updates on our website pattoncrossingissues.com.”

A public hearing was held on a zoning ordinance proposal for the planned Patton Crossing development in Patton Township. Residents gave mixed views on the development, with about even numbers for and against it.