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ROSTRAVER TWP. – Township commissioners unanimously approved a new zoning district, giving relief to 976 properties that were not in compliance with a 49-year-old zoning ordinance.

According to Commissioner Devin DeRienzo, the new Village Residential District will diminish the need for variances by reducing setbacks, lot area, lot width and expanding uses.

“When our original zoning ordinance was created it 1970, it placed an undue burden for residents who had an average lot size of 30 feet wide,” said DeRienzo, following a public hearing and meeting this week at Rostraver Central Volunteer Fire Company’s social hall. “The only way those property owners could get relief was to apply for a variance and attend a hearing before the zoning board. They also had to pay a $475 fee. We are hoping this new zoning district will encourage residents to do more with their properties.”

The new district will affect properties in Collinsburg, Pricedale, Van Meter and Webster, as well as parts of Lynnwood.

Dimensional requirements for single-family dwellings in those areas will now be 3,000 square feet for minimum lot area, 30 feet for minimum lot width, 15 feet from row for minimum front setback, 5 feet for minimum side yard and minimum rear yard, 35 feet for maximum building height and 80% maximum lot coverage.

In addition, the district will allow for private garages under 999 square feet and conditional uses for small businesses such as offices, eating and drinking establishments, pet grooming shops, tourist homes and water-related recreation.

Commissioner Ray Iacoboni and Tamira Spedaliere, township planner, worked on plans for the Village Residential District for several years. Iacoboni said the plan picked up steam during several informational meetings that were held this past winter.

“Over 131 residents attending those meetings and offered feedback for the plan,” said Iacoboni. “More than 99% of those residents were in favor of the new district. The Village Residential District is a win-win for our residents and the township.”

In other business,

  • DeRienzo said the commissioners have “heard very little” from Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck regarding an investigation of landfill leachate that allegedly was piped to the Monongahela River.
  • Commissioner Gary N. Beck Sr. announced that the township has scheduled Electronic Recycling Drop-Off Days for Friday, Sept. 20, noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each household in the township will be allowed to drop off up to three electronic items at the Rostraver Township Road Department Building, 129 Recreation Drive. Township employees will be on-site to help unload items.
  • The board approved the purchase of four police radios from Motorola Solutions Inc. in the amount of $14,315.
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