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Lehighton man plans to move his machine shop to Weissport

Published November 16. 2009 05:00PM

A Lehighton man was given the green light to move his business from Mahoning Township to Weissport.

Members of the Weissport Zoning Hearing Board granted the approval of a special exception request made by David Cressley and Jody Rex last Thursday.

The couple want to change the use of a property at 404 Bridge St. from an automotive restoration operation to a machine shop.

Cressley said that he plans to move his machine shop business, High Tech Automotive Machine, that is presently located at Normal Square, Mahoning Township, to Weissport. He also wants to live in the apartment above the business that has been vacant for many years.

The property in question is residentially zoned and requires the zoning hearing board to change the use of property from one nonconforming use to another nonconforming use.

Cressley said he plans to update the upstairs apartment and live there, plus remodel the business area to include a soundproof booth so he can use his air compressor without disturbing neighbors.

Two residents, who are neighbors, voiced differing views during the hearing. One was against the proposal, while the second neighbor spoke positively for the project.

Cressley said that his operation is clean, makes little noise and that no storage of equipment is outdoors.

Cressley has an agreement of sale and plans to buy the building, pending the outcome of the hearing.

Duane Dellecker, zoning officer, said that according to Weissport's zoning regulations, he had to turn down the permit, but Cressley appealed the decision.

Cressley said that he has one employee and that he does not have a great deal of traffic because his business is specialized for automobile customers. He said that only one or two people will stop at the shop on most days.

Presently his business is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and is closed on weekends. He is also closed during most major holidays.

Cressley said there are no odors since the business uses a water mist and no chemicals to finish off the customized parts that he machines.

Dellecker noted that the last hearing for the property was held on Feb. 28, 2007, when the prior owner sought to use the property to rehabilitate cars for his personal use.

The building is 26 feet by 100 feet, with overhead garage doors on the front and rear of the building.

The board voted unanimously to give approval for the special exception, but asked Cressley to abide by six stipulations: he cannot have tractor trailers deliver to the front door; he cannot store items outdoors; he only can be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and no major holidays; he must agree to have the business and apartment inspected for any building code violations; and must agree to pay the tap on fees for sewage service to the apartment and pay the monthly sewage fees. Also, he cannot have more than two employees besides himself working at the business.

The board has 45 days to provide a written report. Appeals to the decision must be made within 30 days of the written decision.

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