PITTSTON TWP. — The Board of Supervisors on Monday tabled a motion to modify zoning for property at 755 S. Township Blvd. to make way for a transitional housing facility for veterans.
The motion was presented in response to a request by the Veterans of the Vietnam War/Veterans Coalition.
The area is zoned as B-2 to be used for business activities, making it necessary for an new ordinance to be drafted or a special exception to be granted so the property may be used for transitional housing.
Attorney Thomas O’Connor, representing the veterans, said the facility would be used for housing, training and for a “café” to support and train needy veterans.
“There are more homeless people in this area than we know,” said O’Connor, “and many of them are veterans.”
The board expressed concerns about the demographics of the facility, which would include those who had completed drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation at the Department Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Plains Township.
O’Connor said residents would be consistently screened and the facility would have zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use. It would also serve older veterans, not as a care facility, but as a housing option, he said.
At the suggestion of Stephen Rinaldi, the motion was tabled to give opportunity for clarification of legal/zoning issues and further discussion by the board.
Several members said they were concerned that if the exception was made the door would be open to similar entities to attempt to use the area designated as B-2 for non-business purposes.
In another matter, resident John Lombardo expressed concern about speeding on the Pittston Bypass. Police Chief Robert Avvisato said the force would increase its presence on the bypass, and procedures would be implemented to monitor speed.
“In the long term, residents will get accustomed to lowering their speed, knowing they could be ticketed and fined,” said Avvisato.
The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be on July 15 at 7 p.m.