Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Freedom Road Conflicts Continue

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Freedom Road Conflicts Continue

Article excerpt

When it comes to Freedom Road, Bruce Mazzoni, chairman of the Cranberry supervisors, is just plain tired of discussing how property should be used.

That was the summation of several minutes of comments underscoring township officials' frustration with the continuing conflict over the zoning of the property that flanks Cranberry's notorious bottleneck.

The issue came to a head Thursday as the board considered whether to accept an application from a consortium representing 13 Freedom Road property owners seeking a rezoning of their land. The application for rezoning accompanies pending appeals to the township zoning board and Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Supervisors voted unanimously against acceptance of the rezoning request.

The issue has been simmering for years. Township officials thought it was resolved in October 2010 when they approved a zoning overlay to allow property owners to develop their land for lower- impact commercial uses. The underlying residential zoning remained in tact, allowing property owners who didn't want to develop to continue unchanged.

The discussions about the zoning of the property along Freedom Road from Route 19 to the Beaver County line have been ongoing since the late 1990s.

In 1999, the Cranberry Planning Commission began looking at a request from residents along Freedom Road who wanted their land to be rezoned from residential to commercial.

In the township's early days, Freedom Road was one of two main thoroughfares cutting through farmland.

Houses were built on either side.

But, as the township developed, the road evolved from a residential street to a commercial throughway.

People living in houses fronting Freedom Road felt squeezed out of their homes.

They wanted their land rezoned for commercial uses, allowing them the option of selling their land to potential commercial developers. …

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