Millersville Borough is actively engaged in the Boroughs Collaborative, an effort led by EDC. The zoning change is an important step towards addressing economic development and civic engagement in the borough.
Many small communities work to revitalize their downtowns, making them more appealing and pedestrian-friendly.
But what if you don’t have a downtown?
Millersville has three commercial areas, none of which really qualifies as a town center, Borough Manager Ed Arnold said.
So the borough recently altered its zoning so that builders can create one.
A few weeks ago, after several years of planning, Borough Council unanimously approved a new “downtown district” zoning option for the area around the intersection of Manor and Leaman avenues.
The goal, as laid out in the document’s preamble, is to encourage “new traditional mixed-use downtown development” that emulates “historic small town development patterns.”
Imagine storefronts that abut sidewalks, with apartments upstairs. Or blocks interspersed with small “pocket parks” with trees and benches. Or perhaps a public square.
The district should make a point of avoiding “automobile-centric sprawling commercial development,” the preamble says. People should feel comfortable walking or biking there as well as driving.
That would be a significant change.
At present, the Millersville Center shopping center and Jack Williams Tire & Auto Service Center are on the northwest corner of the intersection, and the Village Plaza and a couple of stand-alone commercial buildings are on the southwest. The 10 acres on the northeast side belong to Immerse International, formerly Millersville International House. The southeast corner is residential and is not part of the overlay zone.
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