October is Community Planning Month in Ferguson Township

Date: October 3, 2017

At its Regular Meeting on Monday, September 18, the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors proclaimed
October as National Community Planning Month in Ferguson Township. The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-PA) will host its annual statewide conference at The Penn Stater October 22 - 24.

Ferguson Township Planning & Zoning Department staff are serving on the planning committee for the conference, which will showcase projects in the Centre Region at a poster event on Monday, October 23.

Community Planning Month Proclamation

Planning & Zoning Department Updates

The Planning & Zoning Department is managing and developing a multitude of projects that will make the Township an even better place to walk, bike, play, and live. The Township has an updated Signs and Billboards Ordinance (see our FAQ) and will soon have an updated Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

Ferguson Township Official Map
Residents who see the purpose of planning want to be involved and heard. The Township's Official Map is a good example of their involvement. Originally created in 1990, the Official Map identifies priority areas for future growth — land where the Township may want to develop parks, streets, roads and natural area conservation. The new map is in “draft” form until adopted by the Township Board of Supervisors.

Ferguson Township’s Planning and Zoning Department staff had updated the map to reflect suggestions made during the public comment period workshops held in April, as well as the most recent data from the Centre Regional Bike Plan (2015), and an area where a new fire station might be located.
At its Regular Meeting on July 3, the Board of Supervisors asked for one additional designation: The extension of a shared use path from the unconstructed portion of Foxpointe Drive to Pine Grove Road. The staff met with Transportation Planner Trish Meek to discuss.

At its Regular Meeting on September 18, the Board voted to add a 1,600-foot section of bike path
in Pine Grove Mills.

Learn more

Sourcewater Protection Ordinance
The Planning Commission reviewed a draft of the Sourcewater Protection Ordinance and Map in August.
The Planning & Zoning staff have met twice with local farmers to discuss their concerns and plan to have
a third meeting with them. The Ferguson Township Planning Commission has recommended that the Board
of Supervisors adopt the ordinance, with the caveat that a compensation plan be developed for private property owners within the proposed Zone I areas. This ordinance is on the agenda for further discussion at the Board of Supervisors meeting Monday, September 18, but the Supervisors have set no official public hearing date.

The Board of Supervisors' discussion will continue at the Regular Meeting on Monday, October 2, with clarification on the following items related to the legal status of unpermitted uses within the Zone I and II:

  • regulating land uses inconsistent with environmental value,
  • restrictions on blasting from certain geologic features,
  • and Underground Storage Tank compliance with DEP standards.

Zoning Ordinance
Water Production Facility

On May 25, 2017, the State College Borough Water Authority (SCBWA) submitted an application proposing changes to both Chapter 26 (Stormwater Management) and Chapter 27 (Zoning) of the Ferguson Township Code of Ordinances. The proposed text amendment would permit a "Water Production Facility" as a Conditional Use by the Board of Supervisors.

At its July 24, 2017 meeting, the Ferguson Township Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the proposed amendment to the Board of Supervisors.  The amendment, provided by the State College Borough Water Authority through its engineering consultant, Gwin, Dobson & Foreman, includes the minimum necessary modification of the existing ordinance language to construct a “Water Production Facility” with the Rural Agricultural District as a Conditional Use. The amendment modifies the Ferguson Township Zoning Ordinance under §27-204 Use Regulations, §27-809 Off-Street Parking and Loading Regulations and §27-1202 Definitions.  The Board of Supervisors approved the proposed amendment at a public hearing held on September 18, 2017.

On September 6, 2017, the Planning & Zoning Director, Zoning Administrator, Community Planner conducted a conference call with Carolyn Yeagle of EPD to schedule a staff meeting on Friday, September 22 and a Zoning/SALDO Steering Committee meeting on Thursday, October 5.  The Planning Commission will receive a copy of the working draft on Monday, October 9.

Pet Daycare Facilities

The Township's Planning & Zoning Department also received an application submitted by Robert and Judy Burgess, which requests that "Pet Daycare Facilities" be a permitted use within the Light Industry, Research and Development (IRD) District.

The current Zoning Ordinance defines two terms — "Pet Care Facility” within the RA, RR and IRD districts and the “Pet Day Care Facility” within the General Commercial district, which provides parking standards and performance standards under §27-204 EE. and FF.

At its Regular Meeting on May 2, 2017, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to develop a draft text amendment that permits Pet Daycare Facilities within the Light Industry, Research and Development (IRD) District as a Conditional Use. Further, the Board of Supervisors reviewed the draft amendment on June 5, 2017 and referred the amendment to the Planning Commission for recommendation with a consideration that minimum lot size change from 0.5 acres to 0.75 acres.

The Planning Commission reviewed the proposed request at its June 12, 2017 meeting and asked staff to work with its consultant, EPD, to draft new language as part of the zoning update. Staff did develop and review the proposed language with Carolyn Yeagle and met with Greg and Lynda Mussi on their Dog Daycare Plans. The attached amendment includes a consolidation of terms, a new definition, parking standards and provisions for “Pet Care Service Facilities." The Planning Commission reviewed the draft amendment again at its August 14 and 28 meetings, recommending the amendment unanimously.