Monday, February 25, 2008

F&M Withdraws Controversial Student Housing Overlay District Plan

According to an announcement by County Planner Danny Whittle at Monday's meeting of the Lancaster County Planning Commission, Franklin & Marshall College has withdrawn its petition for a zoning amendment in the City's northwest between College Avenue, Harrisburg Pike, Charlotte Street, and Orange Street.

The Amendment would have permitted more than the currently-allowed 2 or 3 persons to share the same residence within the district.

The County Planning Commission had originally been scheduled to review the petition and offer its recommendations at Monday's meeting, but the item was removed from the agenda in light of F&M's withdrawal of the measure.

The County Planning Commission's role is strictly advisory, as is the City Planning Commission's. Ultimately, the zoning amendment would have to be approved by Lancaster City Council.

The decision follows a raucous meeting last week in which over a hundred residents came out to a City Planning Commission meeting to express their reservations about dense populations of college students in their neighborhood.

Nancy Collins, Director of Media Relations at Franklin & Marshall College said late Monday, "After listening to the concerns of citizens and after receiving constructive suggestions from supporters of the district, our team decided to withdaw the petition as submitted."

Collins said that the College will continue to work with city officials for a solution agreeable to all parties.

She would not comment on how long it would take to renogiate the terms of the proposal.