Zoning Public Hearing Jan 2020
Review of Process:
- We are here today as a result of a two-year process that commenced to update the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and Zoning Map.
- The Municipalities Planning Code requires periodic updates to the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan, to be followed by corresponding updates to the Borough’s Zoning Ordinance. The Borough’s last comprehensive ordinance update was in 1972, so just shy of 50 years ago.
- The Borough updated its Comprehensive Plan in 2018, with the assistance from Fourth Economy and Codametrics, national community and economic development and planning and design consulting firms.
- Before initiating the Zoning Ordinance and Map updates based on the recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan, Council sought additional input from its consultants.
- First, Forth Economy and Codametrics hosted a “kick-off” meeting, where they outlined the Zoning Ordinance update process and lead the Borough’s Zoning Ordinance Steering Committee through a visioning exercise to understand potential focus areas.
- Second, in order to understand how the community would like to see the Borough developed, Council sought input directly from Borough residents and business owners via online and intercept surveys and interviews. The surveys and interviews focused on areas such as population, jobs, industries, and investment.
- Third, Council, with assistance from its consultants, analyzed the data and feedback received in response to the community surveys and interviews, and then presented the results to public. With this data, Fourth Economy then lead the Zoning Ordinance Steering Committee through a process of refining the vision for the new Zoning Ordinance.
- Next, Council formed sub-committees or “priority groups,” consisting of members of the Zoning Ordinance Steering Committee and other stakeholders and experts in the community, to address key topics that arose through the previously mentioned community engagement process.
- In the course of this work, Council also coordinated and hosted a Borough tour for developers, with the intent of familiarizing developers with the Borough, updating them on Council’s vision for the new Zoning Ordinance, and to elicit feedback on what would interest or promote them to invest in the Borough.
- Next, Fourth Economy assisted the Zoning Ordinance Steering Committee convert the feedback and ideas provided during the “priority group” meetings and developer tours into action templates. The Streering Committee was then charged with reviewing the action templates and, by consensus, choosing those that align the best with the Comprehensive Plan and both Council’s and the community’s vision for the Borough’s future.
- It was at this time that Codameterics began developing an initial draft of the Amended and Restated Zoning Ordinance and Map.
- After months (and months!) of a thorough review process, the Planning Commission formally presented the proposed Amended and Restated Zoning Ordinance and Map to Borough Council in October of 2019. At this time, the proposed Amended and Restated Zoning Ordinance and Map were submitted to the County Planning Department for review and comment, as required by the MPC.
- In order to keep the community apprised of the status of the Amended and Restated Zoning Ordinance and Map and to garner additional comment and feedback from the community, Borough Council hosted a public meeting on November 12, 2019. The Zoning Steering Committee members and Leslie Oberholtzer from Codametrics were in attendance at the public meeting to answer any questions the community members had. The feedback received from the County and from the community at/after the November 12, 2019 public meeting was overwhelmingly positive, and Borough Council made no substantial changes to the Amended and Restated Zoning Ordinance and Map.
- Borough Council moved forward with advertising a public hearing on the Amended and Restated Zoning Ordinance and Map, posting public notice of the same throughout the Borough as required by the MPC and the Pennsylvania Borough Code.
- The Borough Council public hearing and meeting today was advertised for consideration and potential adoption of the Amended and Restated Zoning Ordinance and Map, but Council is not required to take action.
- The goal of this multi-year process is to address current and future development in the Borough in a thoughtful, comprehensive, and integrated manner that provides residents and developers with greater flexibility and opportunities, while simultaneously preserving and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the Borough’s residents, business owners, and visitors.
Current Zoning Map and Zoning Ordinances
The Ford City Planning Commission worked with Codametrics on a new zoning map and zoning regulations in Ford City Borough from Jan 2019 to Jan 2020. This project was been funded by the Department of Economic Development (DCED) Early Intervention Program Phase II.
Click on the following document to review the new zoning map. Final Zoning Map
Click on the following document to review the current zoning ordinance. Ford City Zoning Final Ordinance