End of tourist-commercial zoning for certain residences | Local News

A zoning mismatch involving dozens of Gettysburg residences could come to an end.

Borough officials have begun discussions that could lead to the rezoning of lots in three locations: Colt Park behind the businesses on Steinwehr Avenue; an area near the intersection of York and Sixth streets; and another near Sixth and East Middle streets.

Future uses would be affected, but not current uses.

The subject lots are now located in the Tourist Commercial (TC) district, which permits 23 non-residential uses ranging from restaurants and retail stores to auto service stations and hotels.

In Colt Park, 49 parcels near Steinwehr Avenue or the WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital are zoned TC, including 46 homes along with two vacant lots and one commercial lot. Officials are proposing to move to R1 low-density residential zoning, according to a presentation by director of planning, zoning and code enforcement Carly Marshall at Monday’s borough council workshop meeting.

On York Street, four parcels are commercial, one of which is vacant, and four are residential. The proposal is to move to general commercial zoning.

On Sixth Street, one lot is residential, one is vacant, and one is the nonprofit American Legion. The proposal is to move to R2 moderate density residential zoning.

The purpose of TC zoning is to “provide for and encourage the establishment of retail establishments serving the tourist and hospitality trade,” according to the borough’s zoning ordinance.

The borough needs to look “more holistically” at the current TC zone, which is suitable for some existing uses but not suitable for others, Marshall said.

For example, Marshall’s presentation listed businesses on York Street, including the Presidents Inn and Suites, which is obviously tied to tourism, as opposed to nearby Schmuck Lumber.

A petition received by the borough, bearing at least 19 signatures, helped bring the issue to the fore, Marshall said.

A long process remains to be done before the council can enact changes to the ordinance. An amendment would have to be drafted, after which it would be submitted to a public hearing before a council vote.

“This won’t be our last” board-themed meeting, Chairman Wesley Heyser said.

• Thanks to federal pandemic funds, transfers between categories in this year’s budget will offset higher-than-expected police overtime costs without changing the bottom line, the borough director said, Charles Gable. The overtime is tied to covering an injured officer’s patrol shifts who are limited to office duties, Police Chief Robert Glenny said. A union contract gives full-time police officers the first choice to fill shifts, as opposed to part-time workers who are paid less, Glenny said. The members of council expressed no opposition to the inclusion of the proposed budget modification on the agenda of their business meeting on July 11, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the borough hall, 59 E. High St.

• Members expressed no opposition to a request, backed by Gettysburg Fire Chief Larry Weikert, to update the boundaries of zones that determine which agencies and equipment will respond to an emergency. The issue will also be on the July 11 agenda, Heyser said.

• An annual audit of the borough’s books resulted in an “unmodified opinion,” the highest rating possible, said Jennifer CruverKibi of accountancy firm Maher Duessel. The rounding of accounting systems from accrual to cash provided a clearer understanding for the board and the public, Heyser said. In contrast, CruverKibi said the change means that the borough and the Gettysburg municipal authority are not using the same system, creating a “adverse” situation in the company’s judgment.