City zoning change may help one development plan, hopefully others

Williamsport’s central business district is getting bigger.

At least on paper.

City Council last week approved elongating the central business district from Hepburn Street along West Third and Second streets, west to Center Street.

The zoning map amendment will help a builder, Herman Logue, to restart construction on a restaurant at West Third and Hepburn streets.

But the design is for the decision to add up to much more in the way of expanded commercial development in the downtown area. Because of the relaxed parking regulations associated with the central business district zoning, the hope is that more development will result in the newly-zoned area.

Elimination of parking requirements were a big factor in Logue’s development. It stands to reason the same would hold true for others.

The city desperately needs tax base expansion in all forms, but none moreso than that which comes from new commercial, retail and business development.

A zoning change with no discernable negative impact that increases the possibility of such development is a no-brainer.

The city can’t expect development without being willing to be open to zoning changes that may not have been considered previously.

This change falls under the heading of low-hanging fruit.

We hope it bears future development.