Supervisors, developer at odds over zoning

February 19, 1998|By DON AINES

Supervisors, developer at odds over zoning

ST. THOMAS, Pa. - The St. Thomas Township supervisors Tuesday rejected a developer's offer to withdraw a municipal landfill application that would have been linked to a future vote on zoning.

Supervisor Edmund P. Herald said Harold L. Brake's proposal was to withdraw the application for the landfill on the St. Thomas-Williamson Road in exchange for the supervisors' vote to repeal the zoning ordinance enacted Oct. 2. Brake also wanted the supervisors to agree not to vote for zoning in the future, according to Herald.

Herald said of the proposal from Brake, president of the Charles E. Brake Co. in St. Thomas, was made at an executive session on Feb. 11.


Herald said Brake offered to withdraw the application with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the proposed Multilee landfill.

"Our solicitor has told us it's probably illegal to do that," Herald said. Township Solicitor John Lisko said the offer was not in writing.

Other conditions proposed by Brake included amending the township's mining ordinance to make it no more restrictive than state regulations and to assist him in getting a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation driveway permit for his existing mining operation.

When the zoning ordinance went into effect, the landfill site was zoned for agriculture.

Supervisor David C. Ramer said Brake informed him he intends to go forward with plans to change his application from a municipal waste landfill to a landfill for construction and demolition debris.

A construction and demolition landfill could not accept municipal and household waste, as is permitted at the R&A Bender and Mountainview landfills in the county.

Brake did not return calls Wednesday.

A decade of debate

The township has opposed the Multilee project for more than a decade. In 1994, the state denied the Multilee municipal landfill application. Brake appealed the denial and Lisko said the township filed an objection to the appeal.

Recently, the DEP withdrew its letter denying the application, giving Brake until Wednesday to change the permit application to construction and demolition.

A department spokeswoman could not confirm Wednesday whether Brake had filed a new application. If he does not, she said the department would continue its review based on his original application.

She said she could not rule out Brake being able to modify the application past the date set by the department.

The supervisors are scheduled to meet with DEP officials and Multilee representatives about the landfill issue on March 24.

At the supervisors' March 17 meeting, there will be a public hearing regarding a proposal to repeal the zoning ordinance passed in October. Two of the supervisors who approved the ordinance, Bob Lake and Randall Quinn, were voted out of office in November and replaced by Timothy J. Sollenberger and Ramer.

On Feb. 5, the Franklin County Planning Commission voted to recommend that the supervisors not repeal the ordinance. Douglas Niemond, the vice chairman of the commission, said Tuesday, "We all feel that every one of the townships should have zoning ... It allows you to control development in a satisfactory manner."

Lisko said the county Planning Commission had not sent the township official notice of its recommendation.

Herald read a letter from the township's Planning Commission urging the supervisors to amend objectionable portions of the ordinance rather than repealing the law.

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