Saturday, March 29, 2008

Zoning Hearing Board - Procedural Challenge Ruling

The Forks Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) listened to Solicitor Karl Kline's testimony under questioning by attorney Steven N. Goudsouzian and under cross examination by attorney John VanLuvanee and came to a conclusion.   That conclusion was that in the enactment of the 2006 Zoning Ordinance, all the T's were crossed and all the I's were dotted - the prescribed procedure was followed.  The vote was unanimous.  The 2006 Zoning Ordinance is legal. 

The ZHB also considered the subpoena request by KMRD for all zoning ordinance (enactment) documents back to 1983.  Since the ZHB had already ruled the 2006 Zoning Ordinance to be in compliance and therefore legally in force, the ZHB saw no reason for the Township to dig back into (up to) 25 year old records to satisfy what was referred to by Goudsouzian as a "fishing expedition."

The motion was to "deny the remaining procedural challenges as moot based upon the denial to the procedural challenge to the 2006 Zoning Ordinance."  The vote was 4:1 with Robert Kimmel, the newest ZHB member, casting the single nay vote.

Read Madeleine Mathias' Morning Call article and the Express Times Easton Area Blog post by JD Malone for more.

Expect this ZHB decision to to be appealed to the courts.  VanLuvanee said it would be.

On Monday, March 31st the continuing substantive challenge to the Forks 2006 Zoning Ordinance resumes at 7:30 PM.  Charlie Schmehl of Urban Research & Development Corporation will testify.  He and his firm guided the Township through the 2006 Zoning Ordinance re-write.  He also worked with the Township on the new SALDO (Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance), and the soon to be adopted new Forks' Comprehensive Plan.

The expectation is that Mr. Schmehl's testimony will conclude on March 31st.  An April 21st meeting has also been scheduled. 

It's winding down!

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