The Tamaqua Zoning Hearing Board met Monday night to determine the request for variance for Eleanor Arner, 16 East Elm St. Arner requested that she be allowed to enclose a porch attached to the rear of her residence to expand her living space. The permit request was initially denied on the grounds that it required special exception; however, zoning board solicitor Joseph Matika said that after reviewing the ordinance, he determined that it was actually a permitted use and did not require the exception. The board accepted Matika's finding.
Board chairman Richard Clemson explained that the borough is still working through the new zoning ordinances that were approved as part of the Eastern Schuylkill Plan. "When you look at a document as complex as it is, it's going to take some time to work out the bugs," he said. Karl Smulligan, a member of the board who is also a member of the ESP committee, agreed and added that the group is currently in the process of reconvening to review oversights that have been found as the ordinances are being applied. "We work on this for years," he said. "That particular area, we might have worked on back in 2005," he added, referring to the specific ordinance in question.
Zoning officer Jim Barron said that everyone is working together to make the document better.