The proposed rezoning of farmland to allow for development along Route 645 lies in limbo following the March 16 Bethel Township supervisor’s meeting.

The supervisors tabled action on a request to rezone a portion of the Bowman farm to allow for a business park that included industrial flex buildings and retail space for banks or medical offices.

The item is expected to be on the agenda when the supervisors meet April 20 at 7 p.m. in the township building.

In order to avoid large gatherings in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the supervisors limited the number of residents who could attend the March 16 meeting, which lasted only seven minutes.

Only four people were in the gallery March 16, a dramatic turn around from the standing-room-only crowd of 100 that turned out for a joint meeting of the supervisors and planning commission two weeks ago.

At the joint meeting, residents pleaded with the panel to recommend that the supervisors reject the move to rezone a portion of the Bowman farm from agricultural to industrial-commercial.

The anti-development outpouring was in reaction to the influx of warehouses into the township over that last decade. Currently, there are 14 existing or proposed warehouses in the township, which has about 4,000 residents.

The panel deadlocked 5-5, in effect defeating a motion to recommend the supervisors approve the rezoning.

While the supervisors still have to vote on the rezoning proposal, two of the supervisors, Robbi Lane and Mike Graby, were among those who on the panel who voted against rezoning.

At the March 16 meeting, the supervisors adopted an ordinance aimed at controlling litter in the township. Larry Schmehl was appointed litter enforcement officer.

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