Development continues in Berkshire Twp.


GALENA — It’s a good time to catch up on the Berkshire Township Zoning Commission meetings for the second half of last year.

The commission heard about a hotel addition at its meeting on June 1. An attorney said his “applicant would like to build an additional hotel behind the existing Hampton Inn with 73 rooms,” the minutes said.

There were four divergences, with one being the need for rezoning. The applicant would like to pay the township a $135,000 “fee in lieu of” for the acre of property. With Tax Increment Financing (TIF), the property could generate $2.5 million. However, “the condition of Eastwind Drive is horrible and stated that the township may have discussed taking over maintenance of that and that the TIF may assist with the takeover of that road to make necessary improvements.”

Zoning Inspector David Weade said at the meeting “the township has offered to take over the maintenance of that road once the road is fixed to county standards as it would be a major expense to the township.”

After discussion by the commission members, the application was continued to July 6, where it was further tabled.

The Zoning Commission next met on July 6, where a preliminary and final development plan for Sunscapes Landscaping was tabled.

A continuance from May for the Greens of Northstar also took place. The area of development near North Galena Road was previously approved in 2008, and the homes have a median price of $568,070. Existing residents at the development expressed concerns, objecting to all of the new divergences. After hearing from the public, and developer Skip Weiler, the commission unanimously denied the application.

In a related matter, the township forwarded proposed changes to its zoning resolution at the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission’s meeting on April 27, 2023. “Amendments include defining Agritourism and Hotel (stay 30 days or less), adding Small Solar Farms article, adding bike path requirements and reference the Park and Trails Master Plan, and adding design standards for multi-family uses.” These were approved by DCRPC, and effective July 11.

Under new business, the commission considered the final development plan for Metro Development-Carlton Apartments at its meeting on Sept. 7. This would be 13 residential buildings with 312 units located on 26.4 acres with amenities including a community center, community gardens and walking paths. “The development will start next year with an estimated completion date of 2025,” the commission was told. “The site is located at the corner of Wilson and Rider Road… To the north (and east) of the site is agriculture and routes 36/37 and to the south is Tanger Outlet vacant ground and future District at Berkshire by Champion.” After much discussion, five revisions were made to the plan, and it was approved by the commission.

Northstar Residential Development requested approval of the final development plan for a 160-home subdivision on Wilson Road at the Oct. 5 meeting. Despite a resident’s request to delay the project to see how Wilson Road handles the already approved developments, the commission approved the application.

In addition, Rental Stop was granted a rezoning from Agriculture to Planned Commercial Development for a 6,000-square-foot building near State Route 37 at 51 Domigan Road, Sunbury. The final development plan for Rental Stop was then approved at the last zoning meeting of 2023, on Dec. 7.

Damita Peery chairs the Zoning Commission, which meets in the Township Hall, 1454 Rome Corners Road, Galena. Other members are Matt Allen, Andy Kerr, Jon Kerr, Philip Pifer and Austin Slattery. Also attending are Zoning Inspector David Weade and meeting Secretary Donielle Owen.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.

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