Surveyor Bruce Steigerwalt, PE, PLS stood before the West Penn Township planning commission Tuesday at the municipal building with a preliminary sketch plan for the Hoffman property located in East and West Penn in hopes to figure out how to equally divide it among Carol Hoffman's family before presenting it to the zoning board to seek approval.

The family said that the property was grandfathered in and has now been in their family for over a hundred years. Hoffman's will stipulates the property stay in the family, which means even after they own it they cannot sell to anyone outside the family bloodline.

A few issues with equally dividing the property are zoning problems with the irregularly shaped lots and the private access road which they want built and the legalities with the township's road that it would intersect. The commission suggested that they contact East Penn Township to see who will officially own the access road and who will be responsible for maintaining it but advised they wait until they have formal comments from the commission before presenting to the zoning hearing board.

Steigerwalt is hesitant to take the preliminary plan to the zoning board just yet for fear of wasting the one shot to get the property division approved before having a full plan in place.

"I'd like to see these people be able to do what they want with their property," one commission member said, "but of course there are certain things which are going to have to be complied with."

The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for Jul 26 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building to review the West Penn sewer committee's plans for waste treatment in several areas.