Plain Township trustees on Nov. 16 tabled a request to change the zoning designation of the property at 5470 Hamilton Road from local business to general business.

Plain Township trustees on Nov. 16 tabled a request to change the zoning designation of the property at 5470 Hamilton Road from local business to general business.

“They’ve continued the hearing to the next meeting,” said township administrator Ben Collins.

The next hearing is slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Plain Township fire station, 9500 Johnstown Road.

Several neighbors expressed concern about the plan, which could include vehicle sales on the site. Property owners Ed and April Gates requested the change.

Ed Gates met with trustees at the Nov. 16 hearing and said he might be interested in having a car sales lot on site. Collins said the property is on the east side of Hamilton Road, north of Thompson Road, near an auto repair shop and a facility that repairs dents in car bodies.

The car lot would be permitted only if the general-business zoning designation were approved. Collins said the general-business zoning allows car lots as a conditional use.

The conditional-use permit for which Gates applied was approved by the Plain Township Zoning Commission. But the commission placed the following conditions on the permit: No more than 30 cars can be on the site; the neighboring house to the south must be screened with more than the existing trees; no vehicle repairs can be made on site; and the conditional use won’t transfer if the Gates family sells the property.

Trustee Bud Zappitelli said his biggest concern was that Gates didn’t have a plan to present to trustees, saying he might have people selling cars there or he might sell the property.

“I think the best thing for him is to get together with Ben (Collins) and put together a better plan,” Zappitelli said.

Collins said Gates has several options. On Dec. 7, he can request that the trustees vote on the application as is, he can change the application and represent it or he could withdraw the application as written and present a different zoning request.

Collins said the township has a select planned commercial district designation that allows developers to propose their own development standards, and it provides the township more control over the zoning. Other zoning categories, such as the general-business zoning designation, are more broad and generic, he said.