Creative zoning approach may spark new development

Talk about creativity. Steve Cappelli, South Williamsport borough manager, is showing his these days.

Does anyone remember when he was city mayor and suggested annexing Loyalsock Township?

That may not have gone anywhere, other than to entertain local pundits, but now that he’s moved across the river, things may be “looking up.”

Up, as in a doubling of the commercial height permitted in the zoning area in the Market and Hastings streets corridor and along Southern Avenue.

Borough council this week approved zoning amendments, including raising the 35-foot limit to a 70-foot maximum, that are designed to make the borough more attractive to developers.

At 35 feet, a developer could build a three-story building, while at 70 feet, five stories would be possible.

That would allow for market-rate, multi-family apartment buildings.

It will better position South Williamsport to compete with Loyalsock and Williamsport. Essentially, the borough is providing developers with “a path of least resistance,” according to Cappelli.

And new development will increase the tax base.

Now that seems pretty smart to us.


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