Tuesday, January 8, 2008

City Council Approves Parking Garage, LGH Nursing College Addition

Lancaster City Council approved two applications for development within the Heritage Conservation District, Tuesday night.

One petition is from Lancaster General, who proposes "a two story addition to the existing institutional building at 143 East Lemon Street" - the Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

The other is a petition from Lancaster Newspapers for the construction of a seven-level parking garage at 33-41 South Prince Street.

Surprisingly, no representative of Lancaster General or Lancaster Newspapers appeared to be present to comment on the zoning actions.

"We generally follow the recommendations of the Historic Commission," Councilman Brian Roschel admitted.
But not everyone was so complacent.

Patrick White lives across the street from the site of the proposed parking garage in the 30th block of South Prince Street. He's a legally blind man who is gravely concerned that "with increased traffic, my safety and that of other disabled persons who use the Prince Street route on a regular basis, would be compromised."

He also expressed concern for the historicity of the area and the effects of construction on the water supply.

Under new business, the members of City Council heard a brief presentation from representatives of Preferred Self-Storage and David Miller Associates, who petitioned the board to re-zone a 1.348 acre tract of land "on the south side of Seymour Street and the Northeast side of Fairview Avenue in the city" from Commercial to R3 Residential with the intention of developing 19 residential units along Fairview avenue in front of the proposed storage facility.

No action was taken on the request at tonight's meeting, as it was a new discussion item.

Council members Jose Urdaneta and Nelson Polite both expressed concern about the development becoming "rental housing."

Approximately twenty members of the public attended Tuesday night's meeting. Lancaster City resident Randolph Carney thanked the would-be Fairview Avenue developers, saying, "In my opinion, this team needs to be congratulated for what they're doing. They want to take some vacant land and build houses, on which people will pay taxes, as an asset for the taxpayers of Lancaster. They're working to make Lancaster a better place to live."

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for January 22 at 7:30pm at Southern Market Center.