Correction appended: Sept. 5, 2012.
Last week, the State College Borough Planning Commission continued talks about a possible rezoning of commercial areas, such as Westerly Parkway Plaza and Hamilton Square Shopping Center.
Both areas are zoned as CP-2 commercial districts, but commissioners are looking to rezone the surrounding areas as CP-3, which can be eligible for other uses besides commercial.
The goal of the draft ordinance will be to keep retail in those shopping areas around Atherton Street and University Drive, allowing for viable business in those areas of State College.
"It not only benefits the State College community, but also the neighborhood and nearby student apartments," Evan Myers, planning commission chairman, said. "For students with no cars, it will be beneficial to them to make it easy to walk to and encourage retail in those stores."
Myers said that it is important to especially keep grocery stores accessible in that area.
Myers also emphasized that the changes that can be made need to have a balance between making viable profits and developments for those businesses, while there are no vacancies of lots or stores.
According to State College Borough Planning Commission member Jon Eich, discussions for the plans started this past spring.
"We first want to preserve the community, such as grocery stores, the pharmacy, restaurants and stores," Eich said. "It will be beneficial to residents in that few mile radius."
Eich also said that the rezoning could develop the mixed use of developed office and residential space, while helping out bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Commissioner Ron Madrid said the rezoning of the shopping centers is important because it allows for development of the two places for mixed use, commercial and residential.
The areas affected can be given incentives for their rezoning, such as a green roof for some of the buildings and affordable housing for residents and students.
There are still no final decisions made, and the planning commission wants more thought and input from the community before they can send in their final proposals to the State College Borough Council for a conclusion.
Madrid also said there has been no progress made on the draft ordinance, but the rezoning will be further discussed this Thursday, Aug. 9, at the next planning meeting.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated John Eich's title. He is a member of the State College Borough Planning Commission and represents State College on the Centre Regional Planning Commission. The above article reflects the correct information. The Daily Collegian apologizes for this error.