Oh my goodness, I had no idea. We attended the Zoning Board Hearing that the warehouse developer requested and I was well educated about how those are handled.To be able to be heard at the meeting, they had to determine whether or not we (the Sable’s) were directly impacted by the zoning of that property. Our attorney deftly proved that any zoning changes (ie: a variance) would directly affect our property so we were able to provide testimony and evidence. He also proved that Leroy would be affected, so he was allowed to provide evidence and testimony. And Sean Grace from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was proved to be directly affected by zoning changes to the property so he was allowod to give testimony and present evidence.
Alex (our township solicitor) was present, representing the township’s interests.
The developer was asking for three things. An interpretation of Ordinance 805, an appeal of the BoS decision based on Ordinance 805 and a variance for Ordinance 805.
First, the developer attempted to prove that building a bridge with retaining walls did not constitute a structure. This was quickly shot down by their own witness (Chris Noll – HA!) who stated that yes, a retaining wall is a structure under the ordinances of our township.
Second, the developer attempted to prove that there is not a stream located on the property at the point of where they wish to build a bridge. SORRY, evidence presented was cross examined (and yes, it was like a court proceeding with the attorney’s doing all the talking). And during the cross examination, the evidence they provided was over shadowed by the evidence and testimony the aggrieved parties presented and the line of questioning done by Alex on the township’s behalf.
(NOTE: The land owner was never called to testify whether or not there was a stream on his property, neither did they provide current photographs of the property showing there was no stream on the property. – WHY? Because right now, as of yesterday 03-28-18, there was flowing water from the underground spring, which is bubbling and easily seen from the road! So they could not provide said photographic evidence of “no stream”)
On many occassions, the representing solicitors (our attorney, the township attorney) asked for further clarification of information the developer was providing and they could not produce the necessary documents. I was reminded of their inefficiency at the 12-04-18 meeting in which they quoted PennDOT but could not provide letters or reports from PennDOT proving their case regarding the HOP permit.
Third, the developer provided no information that they needed a variance to build a retaining wall. WHY? Because they already have submitted new plans to the township in which the driveway is in a different location and does not require the crossing of the waterway stream.
Oh, yes … we did hear testimony that they submitted new “warehouse plans” on March 15, 2018. I wonder if those new plans address the other concerns the township had regarding the safety issues of traffic at the five point intersection (Rhoades Rd, Old 22 and Rt 737). This is the biggest concern our township has with their proposed use of the land.
So, the meeting went very long … until 10:30 pm. Because the Zoning Board needs time to review all the evidence, they closed the evidentiary portion of the meeting (meaning no more evidence or testimony can be presented) and will reconvene on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm to hear closing argument and make their final determination.
We ask all residents to attend this public meeting and show support for your community.