A flyer expressing concern over Titusville City Council’s plan to alter the zoning of two city-owned properties on Murdock Boulevard was given out to several residents of the road on Monday.
Jean Matthews, who has lived on Murdock Boulevard since 1959, brought the flyer to The Herald’s office and said that several of her neighbors had also received the document. According to Matthews, the flyer showed up on her door step.
Entitled “Your Voice is Needed To Save Murdoch Boulevard (sic),” the flyer urges the reader to speak up regarding the rezoning of the two Murdock Townhouses and Joe M. Ball Residence Hall, which are three buildings that the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville donated to the City of Titusville in August. City Manager Larry Manross pitched to city council the idea of selling the properties to one or more private developers to be turned into a business of some kind when the donation was initially announced back in January.
Council is poised to vote on the measure at their meeting tonight. However, before that vote, a public hearing will be held to allow residents to comment on a zoning change planned for the properties. The three buildings were originally zoned as special conservation district zones, also known as an S-1 zone, which is typically used for green space and parks, but also permits use for schooling. The city is in the process of converting the properties into being zoned as a multi-family residential district, also referred to as an R-3 zone, which allows for apartments and other similar such housing. Council has already received approval from the Crawford County Planning Office and the Titusville Planning Commission to move forward with the change.
The flyer urges residents to speak out against the zoning change if they have any concerns against it. It also claims that there is a plan “to remove all or a portion of the tree-lined median to make way for angle parking” on Murdock Boulevard as a result of the change.
Manross, however, told The Herald on Monday that there is no such plan, nor has the topic ever been discussed. Rumors that the city would remove the trees that run up the middle of Murdock Boulevard have previously been brought up during the Aug. 27 and Sept. 17 city council meetings. In the initial instance, Manross said he was unaware of any such plans, while at the latter meeting, he said the zoning changes and sale of the properties have “nothing to do” with Murdock Boulevard.
Today’s meeting of Titusville City Council will take place at 6 p.m., at the Towne Square Building, at the second floor conference room. The meeting will begin with a public hearing on the zoning change.
Ray can be reached, by email, at email@example.com.