West Donegal

When: West Donegal Township supervisors meeting, July 27.

What happened: The board held a public hearing on proposed zoning amendments for Stone Gables Estate — home of Star Barn Village, Ironstone Ranch and St. Michael’s Vineyard. The three venues — used for weddings and corporate events — contain historically preserved farm buildings, trails and a horse ranch on 275 acres at 1 Hollinger Lane, Elizabethtown.

Land use changes: The property and its parcels are in a rural district. The proposed limited commercial district would be the first of its kind in Lancaster County, officials said. Adopting these zoning amendments would concentrate all future decision-making discussions about both informal and formal processes for new construction and operations under the Board of Supervisors. This eliminates the need for approval from the Zoning Hearing Board. Currently, the property is treated as different parcels, which will be unified if these amendments are adopted. No new formal expansion plans have been approved.

Public comment: Laura Price read a letter from neighbors expressing their concerns about potential impacts a rezoning might have on them. Price said the request to use the Newville Road entrance is infeasible, especially when larger crowds are to be expected. Along with general unease for traffic safety, residents are concerned about excess light and noise pollution.

Response: Estate owner Dave Abel agreed to increase the setback distance for an event venue from 100 to 150 feet and to regulate what class of roadway may be used as a main entry point for large outdoor events. After the hearing, solicitor Josele Cleary said she will be making two modifications to the amendments.

What’s next: The board tabled consideration of the amendments, pending review of these changes, and will take them up again at their Aug. 10 meeting.

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