Rush Township plans hearing to consider zoning

For years, Rush Township has had squabbles between projects being proposed and people who opposed them. All that could change soon.

The township will hold a hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday on the possibility of putting zoning in place. It’s a move the municipality has resisted through numerous controversial proposals being put forth, but supervisors are now seeing a need to consider it.

According to Supervisor Mike Savage, the zoning will work hand-in-hand with the township’s subdivision and land development ordinance, but will dictate specific uses for certain areas.

“We would have areas that were purely residential, and there would be some that would be industrial or commercial,” he said.

That should keep the municipality from being a target for some big projects that have generated big protests over the past 20 years.

The most recent was Keystone Corrections’ proposed 300-bed detention and pre-release center that was denied in April. The supervisors had quashed the controversial plan, which would place work-released state prisoners in close proximity to several private homes, a day care center and a gun shop on Route 322, due to road access, as well as sewer and water problems. However, Keystone owner Terry Davis said at the time that it was not the end of the project.

“We will be resubmitting. ... We will be back,” he said.

Zoning has come up as a possible solution to other projects, including the Resource Recovery landfill, a Pyramid Healthcare drug treatment halfway house at Cold Stream that has since closed, and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard presence at Mid-State Regional Airport, which also has since been relocated.