We urge leaders in Rush Township to fully investigate the potential pros and cons of adopting a zoning ordinance, and to share those findings openly with residents, before either accepting or rejecting the concept.
We understand the concerns of some in the large municipality, home to expansive Black Moshannon State Park. That includes sentiments such as this, expressed by planning commission member Matt Walker: “We are rural country people. We don’t want to be like State College.”
But supervisers, planners and residents should remember that zoning, when properly employed, allows municipalities to have legal control over land uses. Sometimes zoning helps communities avoid dangerous or unpleasant situations.
Centre County statistics cited by township engineer Michelle Merrow — 26 of 35 municipalities have such ordinances — are not alone reason enough for Rush to adopt a zoning plan.
Likewise, simply saying “we don’t like zoning” is not a satisfactory response either.
This must be the best decision for Rush. The community deserves and must engage in a thoughtful, open dialogue involving every affected group.