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West Penn to seek mini-grant to update and map zoning ordinance

Published September 07. 2018 12:37PM

West Penn Township could receive a grant to use toward the cost of updating and mapping its zoning ordinance.

Supervisors on Tuesday heard from Brooks Mountcastle, an environmental planner with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Mountcastle discussed the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Mini Grant, which he noted has $40,000 available for the 2018 round.

The maximum the township can receive from the mini-grant is $17,500, with a minimum 20 percent cash or in-kind match provided by the applicant or project partners, he said.

However, Mountcastle said mini-grant funding cannot be used for land acquisition projects.

Board Chairman Tony Prudenti said he believes it has come at just the right time as the township is in the midst of redoing its zoning.

If received, the township could apply the funds toward the cost of its zoning ordinance as long as it incorporates the preservation of the environment.

The township could use the funds to update its mapping to include natural, scenic and cultural resources and their relationship to the Appalachian Trail.

The board agreed to reach Charlie Schmehl, of Urban Research & Development, to see about putting a proposal together to get the grant, since they are working on redoing the township’s zoning.

Board solicitor Paul J. Datte agreed and said the board should get Schmehl’s opinion.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Conservation Assistance Mini-Grant Program is a competitive funding stream intended to stimulate sound local land use planning and conservation-related municipal actions that align with the Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail Act of 1978, as amended by Act 24 of 2008.

Funding for the Appalachian Trail Conservation Assistance Mini-Grant comes from the National Park Service Appalachian Trail Park Office, and is provided to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy through a Cooperative Agreement

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