An ordinance adopted by East Union Township in June 2009 was upheld by Judge D. Michael Stine in a decision announced Wednesday afternoon in the Schuylkill County Court. It was challenged by Gladstone Partners, L.P.. of Pittsburgh, which is seeking to construct a cargo airport on the border of land partly in East Union Township, Schuylkill County, and partly in Hazle Township in Luzerne County.
Stine ruled the township planning commission properly prepared the zoning ordinance and map and that there was no need to create a zoning planning commission as was claimed in the suit.
"We could not find a requirement anywhere in the state or municipal planning code that directs the board of supervisors to create both a planning commission and zoning planning commission," the judge wrote. He added, "the supervisors properly submitted the proposed ordinance to the Schuylkill County Planning Commission for review and was returned with a 'no comment' letter ' indicating it found no error and confirmed to the county land use plan."
The ruling is a blow to the Pittsburgh firm's plans for the proposed cargo airport. The firm has the right to appeal Stine's decision to the state's Commonwealth Court.
The county planning commission has jurisdiction over boroughs and townships who do not have their own planning boards and reviews those which do have boards.