Issues, proposals, and topics to heed. 
Night skyline smallHarrisburg Zoning

Recently, the Papenfuse Administration unshelved a long sitting proposal to revamp the City’s Zoning Code, and last week, it was presented to City Council along with an aggressive plan to move it forward to vote on July 8th.

Before that takes place, there will be two public meetings held to discuss the proposal and the process: June 25th at 6:00pm at Camp Curtin YMCA on N6th Street & June 26th at 6:00pm at the Boys & Girls Club on Berryhill Street.

Overall, the Administration points to five years ago when the process was first started to revamp the 1950 Zoning Code. From 2009-2013, a series of public meetings and planning sessions took place to produce a proposal that “fixes” the problems the city faces with the current code. According to Director of Community and Economic Development Jackie Parker and City Planner Geoffrey Knight, the current Zoning Code is outdated and impractical.

The main change in the proposal takes the city’s 29 zones down to 9. “It’s kinda like a patchwork quilt right now,” Knight said. “There are no practical reason between the distinctions. The overall effect is seemingly arbitrary and capricious.”

However, if adopted, the new code could be temporary, subject to change during the upcoming Comprehensive Plan process. The point, Parker and Knight said, is to pass this Zoning proposal to bridge the gap until a new Comprehensive Plan is developed. “This document is a stepping stone to the code we’ll draft in the Comprehensive process.”

To view the proposal and the new map, click below:

Murals

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From Mulberry Street to N3rd Street, murals are increasingly becoming a prominent topic of conversation in Harrisburg. Already home to many vibrant public pictorials most especially in Allison Hill and Uptown, the city is becoming a potential canvas as coordinated efforts are coming together to not only put more painted images on sides of buildings, but also to help save what’s already here. Looking towards Philadelphia as a model of mural-motivated urban renewal, various groups and organizations are talking about how such a movement can be replicated in the capital city.

Increasingly, the community will be called on for input and support, participation and contributions. Here are a couple such projects:

The Sale of the State Hospital

No one’s quite sure yet how it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen—the state is going to sell off a large parcel of the Harrisburg State Hospital.

Right now, House Bill 1945 authorizing a survey and appraisal of the property is making its way through the Senate with the intent of passage by the end of June. If that’s the case, Department of General Services will have the survey and appraisal done this fall.

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click for image credit

In response to the news, stakeholders such as the Capital Area Greenbelt, Dauphin County, Susquehanna Township, Department of Environmental Protection, the The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and concerned citizens are coming together to discuss the value of preserving the place. This coalition is also interested in raising public awareness of one of Harrisburg’s most historical and beautiful places.

To comment on the bill, contact Representatives Sue Helm and Patty Kim.

For more information on how to get involved, contact Historic Harrisburg Association.

Further readings: 

Tara Leo Auchey

Tara Leo Auchey

Creator & editor of today's the day Harrisburg, started in 2009. Resident, engaged citizen, community activist, teacher, strategist, writer.
Tara Leo Auchey
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