Chambersburg has Planning and Zoning and Zoning Hearing Board meetings this week

May 6 – The Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board in Chambersburg will meet tomorrow. 

In most boroughs, these can be the places where a lot of discussion begins in towns.  

Allen Coffman, borough council president, said, “At five o’clock the Zoning Hearing Board meets. I think they have four different hearings that they’re going to have that day. I’m pretty sure almost all of them involve putting additions on people’s houses that are in low density residential areas, and they must need relief from some particular setback or something like that. They’re going to bring it to the Zoning Hearing Board and quite frankly, usually those things are approved off, it’s not putting it out on the sidewalk, literally.” 

Public comment is welcome. 

Coffman noted, “When those things happen, there’s signage put up and people are notified within like 300 feet of where that property is. So if they don’t show up and they don’t make an opinion, the Zoning Board is going to come to a conclusion and usually they’ll be guided by what neighbors say. If they were against it, they would probably take a lot of weight out of those comments.” 

These are the meetings where ideas are first brought to the borough before they make them to the council. 

Coffman said, “Look at some plans, hear the dialogue, weigh in on it if you want to make a comment. It is a legal matter. As a matter of fact, if you comment there, either for or against it or whatever, you take an oath that it’s going to be true.” 

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission will meet. 

Coffman said, “One of the things that they’re working on now is out of the comprehensive plan, there was talk about things that they wanted to allow and things they did not want to allow in the central core, where we are right now. So I’m planning on going to that meeting. I want to hear what the dialogue is and what things were blocked before that they might want to consider now. I think it should be an interesting dialogue and they won’t get it all done in this one meeting anyway.” 

There will be $5.5 million from the federal government coming to Chambersburg. 

Coffman explained, “That came from the department of transportation through a sub department called Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, PHMSA, is the acronym it goes under. This is the second year in a row we’ve gotten a large amount from PHMSA. Last year it was $5.2 million. This year it’s $5.5 million. We applied for it. But the beauty of these two PHMSA grants is there’s no matching funds required. So it’s just as if they hand you a check for 5.2 or $5.5 million and you use it toward the project. So it’s very unusual you get grants that don’t require some sort of matching funds.”

It’s to replace entire gas lines that are either cast iron or steel that will be replaced with plastic and the homeowner will not be financially responsible. 

Coffman said, “upgrading the system is what it really is.” 

Members of the gas department attended the annual meeting of the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia (MGAG) recently. 

Coffman said, “They were down there for the meeting and they received two awards from MGAG. The one being a safety award, awarded to our gas department. The second award that they got was for the most new added services within the last year of all the MGAG people. So that’s pretty nice when you get that from your gas supplier and it was a surprise. I didn’t know we were going to get that.” 

The next borough council meeting will be on May 13. 
For the Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board agendas, click here.