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Gettysburg proposes zoning changes to allow event centers

The Gettysburg Borough council has authorized a public hearing to be held on Monday, March 27, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in the borough office at 59 E. High St. to consider its proposal to establish and regulate event venues in the borough.

The borough has spent many months discussing the new ordinance which arose from a request for such a venue from a business on High St.

The proposal has been criticized by residents as likely to change the character of the borough.

The text of the ordinance that the council voted on does not seem to have been made public at this time and the borough has not replied to requests to share it.

Council President Wes Heyser voted against the motion.

The borough unanimously approved a public hearing to be held on Monday, March 27, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. to consider a proposed amendment to reclassify 49 properties located along and adjacent to the northwestern side of Johns Avenue and the southeastern side of Highland Avenue from their current Tourist Commercial classification to R-1 Low-Density Residential.

“This is our attempt to remedy a situation that we thought was problematic that residential housing inventory was in danger of being removed and turned into commercial use at a time when our residential housing property is scarce. So this is an attempt to remove a threat to that inventory and make sure these properties remain residential,” said council member Matt Moon.

Planning Director Carly Marshall said the borough would mail letters to property owners in the affected areas explaining the proposed changes to them. We’ll also be posting numerous signs in that area with information about the hearing and the affected changes,” she said.

The text of the ordinance that the council voted on does not seem to have been made public at this time and the borough has not replied to requests to share it.

Other Announcements:

The borough is considering a new ordinance related to satellite dishes and solar modules.

In his report from the rec park, Carr said registration for Little League is open, and that the Black History club group meetings will continue in February.

Councilmember Judie Butterfield reported on the recent Adams County Council of Governments meeting.

Moon reminded people about the upcoming Black Balloon Day events which be held on March 6.

Councilmember Patricia Lawson said last weekend’s festival honoring film director Ken Burns was “wildly successful.”

March 18 is the next electronics recycling date.

Public Works Director Chad Harbaugh said The Culp’s Run restoration project is “essentially done.”

Maintenance on the Racehorse Alley Parking Garage will occur this year. Harbaugh said the repairs were primarily aesthetic. “The main goal this year is to preserve the outside, removing the old, cracked, caulking, doing some power washing, and replacing some concrete that is falling,” he said.

Borough Manager Charles Gable said the parking department had a surplus of $184,000 for the year fiscal year 2022 and that there is $1.5 million in the borough’s general fund. “The borough remains in good physical condition from an operating perspective,” he said.

Gable and Mayor Frealing visited PA Sen. Rob Casey in his office in Washington D. C. on Jan 31. The visit, Gable said, was to “inform him and educate him and his staff on the RAISE application that the borough will be submitting later this month, and to gain his support for it. “The senator is actually very versed in our project here,” said Gable.

The borough will enter into an agreement with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation related to the construction of the Gettysburg Gateway Connectivity Project.

Main Street Gettysburg CEO Jill Sellers thanked the borough for their work in helping the film crew for “A Gettysburg Christmas,” and reminded businesses that the application window for façade grants begins on Monday.

Sellers said the borough was working with America250 to prepare for the event to be held in 2026. “We’ve got some really cool things that are in the works so stay tuned for more announcements on that,” she said.

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Charles (Chuck) Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Owner, Publisher, and Editor in Chief. I would like to hear from you. Please contact me at cstangor@gettysburgconnection.org.

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