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College Township Planning Commission Votes on Hilltop Rezoning Recommendation

by on August 21, 2013 9:06 AM

The College Township Planning Commission voted Tuesday night to support rezoning of the former Hilltop Mobile Home Park. The vote was 4-3 in favor.

Tempers flared initially as nearby Centre Hills Residents members spoke out against the possible increase in population density in the spot where park was located.

The main concern Tuesday was the possible increase in traffic on some roads near the property as a result of rezoning. The planning commission recommend that the College Township Council vote to rezone the property to a combination of R1 and R2 residences, with the two-family R2 near East College Avenue and R1, single-family residences, near Mallard Avenue. Council will discuss the issue at its meeting on Sept. 5.

College Township Senior Planner Mark Holdren said the recommendation allows for 165 to 251 residences to be in the area.

Resident David Porter said that significant studies were done on other roads such as Shamrock Avenue and Oak Ridge Avenue, but some roads such as Country Club Lane were ignored in the studies. Porter said the road is already busy.

"You must respect us," Porter said of the rather large number of residents at the meeting. "You must respect that that is a busy road."

Township Engineer Kent Baker said that there are roads in the township the same size as the ones in question, and that they are able to handle a high traffic load. Baker also said a traffic study had been done and that the study showed the roads in the area can handle an increase in traffic.

Other residents, such as Robert Ceschini, said he does not believe the roads could handle a significant increase in traffic, and that even though studies had been done, he thinks there will be an increase in traffic, just by the sheer increase of people.

The site was closed in February, causing former residents to scatter. Kenneth and Sharon Mayes, who owned Hilltop, sold the land to Trinitas Ventures and ordered tenants to move out, sparking controversy.

The council already voted down a plan made by Trinitas Ventures, a student housing developer based in Lafayette, Ind., to change zoning of the area to allow for higher density buildings. Trinitas did amend its plans to also include single-family and two family residences.

Adam Lidgett is a freelance reporter who has covered news and feature stories in State College and Centre County.
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