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Patton Township clears way for additional uses in office buffer district

The Board of Supervisors approved amending conditional uses in the office buffer district, clearing the way for some new uses in the zones.

The buffer district exists in two places in the township, Manager Doug Erickson said — Grays Woods Boulevard, across from the Geisinger care facility; and Waddle Road.

The amendments specifically target the area in Grays Woods, he said, saying a request for the amendments was made by Jim and Sue O’Connor. The O’Connors own the property at 650 Grays Woods Blvd.

The property is the hopeful future site of the Gray’s Centre, said center founder Michele Brandt. The multi-space facility seeks to offer “activities that promote healthy lifestyles and the arts in an easy to access facility for all ages.”

The request was reviewed by the township Planning Commission, Erickson said, which recommended adding several amendments. These included adding “dance studio” and “health/fitness center” to the list of conditional uses, revising the hours of operation within the buffer district to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and providing an exception to the hours for a health center to open at 5:30 a.m. “for scheduled appointments” for no more than 30 patrons.

The center expects to offer yoga, Pilates, dance and semi-private personal training activities, Brandt said, as well as after-school programs.

The request for amendment passed the board 4-1.

Roger Greene, who said he would be leasing space in the center, said his yet-unnamed business would be offering one-on-one exercise and workout sessions as well as fitness classes.

The primary goal of the center is to create balance in the community, Brandt said, as a way for kids to get their sports and after-school activities started earlier but also bringing personal balance through mind, body and art.

“Kids get in, they’ll get some healthy snacks, do about an hour of homework, then they can get their sports, dance and other physical activities in,” she said. “It helps families by getting those after-school activities in early, so when parents come pick them up, they can do other things in the evening.”

Brandt said she’s working with a developer to get a facility built, hoping for a soft opening by the end of summer in 2017.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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