Zoning Committee Member Notice

Dear Residents:

The Board of Supervisors of Forward Township have decided to examine and review the matter of Zoning and whether or not some form of Zoning would be of benefit to the Township. The approach they have decided to take in this effort is to form a 15 members resident committee who will be tasked with understanding zoning, gathering public input on the topic, and reporting back to the Township Planning Commission with a recommendation on whether zoning would be beneficial or not in the Township.

It is very important that all geographic and demographic areas of the Township be represented on this committee. It is the intent of the Supervisors and hope of those who have attended Board of Supervisor Meetings in recent months, that this committee reflect the entire township, geographically and demographically. From a time-commitment point of view, a member of this important committee could expect to participate in about 5 committee workshops, each about 1 hour long, and 3 public forum meetings that would be approximately 2 hours long per forum. Most of the committee workshops will be learning sessions about zoning and what its purpose is.

The Supervisors believe the Township needs to consider the implementation of some form of zoning. This was also a recommendation in the Comprehensive Plan. Many residents disagree with this. The Committee’s work will be directed at objectively looking at this, getting public input, and making a final recommendation to the Planning Commission, who will “take it from there.”

Please contact the Township office by email at forwardtownship@zoominternet.net, by phone at 724-538-9251, or by mail at 207 Ash Stop Road, Evans City, Pa. 16033 to express your interest in serving on this committee.  We are collecting the names with contact information of those interested in serving on this committee until October 31st. At that point, the Committee will be established, and the Township will notify you if you are selected to be on the Committee. An outline of the process the Committee will be involved in can be found on the Township Website or by contacting the Township office. This volunteer service commitment is vital to the future of Forward Township and will impact growth and development for many years to come. The Township appreciates your consideration and anticipated willingness to serve.

Tom Hartwig,


The development of any Zoning Ordinance will be through the work of the Planning Commission with submittal of any Ordinance drafted to the County Planning Commission and subsequently, after 45 days, to the Board of Supervisors. The Municipal Planning Code requirements must be strictly adhered to!

Establishment of a working Zoning Committee (15 Members).  This Committee will report to the Township Planning Commission.  For the purposes of this outline, this Zoning Committee will be referred to as the Z-Committee.

Appointment of Residents, Officials (Planning Commission Representatives), and Advisors to the Z- Committee (Solicitor, Engineer, Manager)

Z-Committee Meeting No. 1 – Committee decides upon a chairman and vice chairman to lead discussions.  Generally, discuss and learn about zoning – Zoning 101.  Presentations by Engineer and Manager.

Z- Committee Meeting No. 2 – Review the Comprehensive Plan and Recommendation for Zoning

Z- Committee Meeting No. 3 – Why Forward Township does or does not need Zoning – Pros and Cons

Z-Committee Meeting No. 4 – If Zoning is needed, then define what level of Zoning is best for the Township. If no Zoning is needed, then state the reasons why it is not needed.

Public Forum No. 1 – Present the work and recommendations of the Z-Committee to the Residents at a public meeting on this topic and receive input from residents in attendance on the committee’s recommendation for zoning or no zoning.

Z-Committee Meeting No. 5 – Reaffirm the type of Zoning needed/desired after Public Forum No. 1 and charge Engineer/Manager with developing a draft Zoning Map with descriptions of defined Zoning Districts.  The Z-Committee would tabulate/define all existing conditions that would influence Zoning District delineations.  If the public input AND the Z-Committee recommendation is not to implement zoning, then the process ends here with a recommendation of such to the Planning Commission.   

Public Forum No. 2 – The Z-Committee will present Zoning Map and Districts in draft form to residents and receive feedback and comments from residents on the map and districts. Zoning District delineation would include justification for each District.

Z-Committee Meeting No. 6 – The Z-Committee asks the Engineer/Manager to proceed to revise the map and districts based upon Public Forum No. 2 input, and then to develop a list of Permitted Uses and Conditional Uses for each District, along with lot size requirements in each district.

Public Forum No. 3 – This meeting will conclude the Z-Committee’s work and interaction with the public as a committee.  Public input on permitted and conditional uses, lot size requirements, and other details will be presented to the public and feedback will be solicited.

Z-Committee Presents Work to the Planning Commission – The Z-Committee will turn over its work completed to date to the Planning Commission which will include a Zoning Map, Zoning District delineation, and Permitted and Conditional Uses for each district, as well as lot size requirements.  The Planning Commission will then charge the Engineer/Manager with the development of a complete Zoning Ordinance. The Z-Committee is dissolved at this point by the Planning Commission.

Planning Commission – Review of draft Zoning Ordinance prepared by the Engineer/Manager.

Planning Commission Public Meeting – The Planning Commission will hold a public meeting to present the draft Zoning Ordinance to the public for feedback and comment.  Based upon comment and feedback, the Planning Commission may or may not as the Engineer/Manager to revise the draft Ordinance.

The Planning Commission submits the Zoning Ordinance to the Solicitor for review – The Planning Commission’s Solicitor will review the Ordinance for compliance with the MPC and Second-Class Township Code requirements.

The Planning Commission submits the Zoning Ordinance to the Butler County Planning Commission for review and comment.  There may or may not be revisions made based upon the County Planning Commission’s review.

The Planning Commission submits the final Zoning Ordinance to the Board of Supervisors for action.

The Board of Supervisors will hold a public meeting to present the final Zoning Ordinance developed by the Zoning Committee and Planning Commission for comment and feedback.

The Board of Supervisors can then act on the Ordinance with all public notice and advertisement requirements met and clearly stating the intent of the Planning Commission and Zoning Committee with all the public forum meetings held to give the citizenry the opportunity to comment and express their opinion.