The Carbon County Planning Commission recommended approval of four subdivision plans throughout the county.
During the group's meeting on Thursday, Ivan O. Meixell Jr., county planner, outlined each of the plans and his findings. They include:
Ÿ A proposed subdivision at the Mountain Laurel Golf Complex in East Side Borough. According to the plans, MFT Real Estate LLC, wanted to combine a 178.012-acre and a 1.968-acre lot into a 179.980-acre lot and then subdivide it into a 176.814-acre lot and a 3.166-acre lot. Meixell noted that the plan, as submitted, contains all preliminary/final plan requirements of East Side Borough's Land Development Ordinances and recommend that the commission recommend plan approval for the project.
Ÿ A proposed subdivision at the intersection of Fourth Hollow Road and Industrial Road, Green Acres Industrial Park in Nesquehoning. According to the plans, Kovatch Enterprises Inc. wanted to subdivide a 140-plus acre plot of land into a 6.070-acre lot and a 133.93-acre lot. Meixell said that after reviewing the plan, he believes it meets all preliminary/final plan requirements of Nesquehoning and recommended plan approval.
Ÿ A proposed subdivision at Tonolli Road in Nesquehoning. The plan called for Bio-Haz Solutions Inc. and Kovatch Enterprises Inc., subdividing a 7.141-acre lot into two lots and then combining the two lots with two other lots on the land to create a 6.947-acre lot and a 2.401-acre lot. Meixell said that the plan contains all requirements and recommended approval.
Ÿ A proposed subdivision at 937 Packer Drive, Packer Township. The proposed plan called for Matthew P. Eroh subdividing three acres of land. Meixell said that the plan contained all final plan requirements of Packer Township's Land Development Ordinances and recommended plan approval.
In addition, one plan also received conditional plan rejection.
Ÿ The proposed subdivision at the Kovatch Dealership Inc. complex near North First Street in Lehighton, called for subdividing 6.683 acres into two lots. Meixell explained that he found a number of preliminary/final plan requirements that were not met and provided comments to resolve each. He then recommended the board recommend conditional plan rejection until all comments are addressed and mitigated.
In other matters, two county residents addressed the board about the proposed Carbon County Comprehensive Plan, which is funded mainly by the state.
Hope Gramlich of Lehighton, questioned whether or not the commission would be reviewing the plan.
She was told by commission members that they do not have the power to make decisions, but just review plans to make sure they meet all requirements, adding that she would need to speak with Judy Borger, director of the Carbon County Planning and Development office, and the county commissioners.
Gramlich was not satisfied with the answers, and continued to question about the plan's purpose.
She claimed that the proposed plan calls for the creation of a number of recreational bicycle trails throughout the county and noted that grant money would be used to complete these trails.
She said that she is against this because grant money leads to taxpayers paying for the projects in the long run; and bicycle trails will lead to more drug trafficking in the county.
"Who's going to take care of them (the trails)?" Gramlich asked. "Who's going to patrol them? Because if you put in trails around here, you are just going to connect all the drug dealers."
The commission again told her that she was speaking to the wrong people because they do not have the power to make any decisions on the plan.
The purpose of the commission is to review subdivision plans and make a recommendation to the municipalities, who make the final decisions, commission member Frank Jacobs said.
Gramlich added that the plan also allows for easements to be placed on residents' properties.
"My land is my land and according to the constitution, it is my land and there is no one that can take that land," she said. "I think you people need to think about having someone come across your property that you know nothing about."
Again she asked, "Who is going to patrol these things? Are you going to license bicycles and make them buy insurance to help take care of it (the trails)? I think that's an option. If they want them, let them pay for them. I don't think any one of you would like your land taken away for a stupid bicycle trail that you know drugs are going to travel on.
"It was really great for Tamaqua when they got all that grant money to make Tamaqua look so pretty," Gramlich continued. "You know what, I wouldn't walk down Broad Street at night if you paid me. It's nothing but drugs."
Robert Dages of Jim Thorpe, then added that he would encourage the commission to reject the plan if it comes to them for review, even if they feel it is a good plan, and then let the commissioners make the final decision.