Communities are a tapestry of unique areas; some of these areas are easily definable, while others may only be identifiable by a key feature or property. Each area has its own set of attributes, issues, opportunities and challenges that contribute to its place in the larger community. The challenge for local and regional officials is to be constantly planning for how best to preserve or reshape these areas through implementation of strategic regulations and investments that aim to meet the ever-evolving needs of the community while properly managing growth.
In 2017, College Township engaged 4Ward Planning Incorporated, to evaluate its existing General Industrial and General Commercial zoning districts, and provide recommendations for their modification. A primary goal of the College Township Commercial and Industrial Zoning Analysis, which was completed in July 2019, was to “develop market-feasible zoning recommendations and identify redevelopment opportunities within the Nittany Mall, which had been losing major retail anchors in recent years.”
Upon review of the College Township Commercial and Industrial Zoning Analysis, Council and staff recognized that before significant changes to the regulations within these respective zoning districts could occur, the Township must first consider how those changes would work in concert to better define Dale Summit area as a recognizable place in the community. It was determined that the best way to reframe this effort was through the development of a Dale Summit Area Plan.