County joint land use plan adopted
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Rush Township resident Marion Lazur speaks to supervisors on Tuesday about how the Eastern Schuylkill Planning ordinance will impact her property. Lazur opposes the ordinance.
Rush Township supervisors on Tuesday became the final governing body to adopt the Eastern Schuylkill Planning joint land use ordinance.
The plan, eight years in the making, replaces existing land use ordinances in four of the five municipalities Rush, Walker and Schuylkill townships and the Borough of Tamaqua that comprise the Tamaqua Area School District. West Penn Township supervisors voted to drop out of the plan last year.
The plan is expected to become operative within 10 days.
Rush supervisors adopted all three components of the plan: the Region Joint Comprehensive Plan, the Region Joint Zoning Ordinance and the Region Joint Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance following a brief public hearing.
But a former supervisor, who opposes the joint ordinance, said she would challenge it in court.
Marion J. Lazur said that adopting the joint ordinance would be a "gross injustice to our township."
Lazur also read a letter from her attorney, Thomas S. Nanovic, stating that the joint ordinance is "substantively invalid" because the "limited number and types of uses permitted on the property are unduly restrictive, unreasonable, arbitrary and do not have a substantial relationship to the public welfare or to police power."
Nanovic lists further objections, writing that he believes there are also procedural irregularities that could knock out the entire ordinance.
"If a court upholds our procedural challenge," he wrote, "the entire ordinance will fall."
The letter, which Lazur asked be entered as testimony, asked that three parcels of land owned by Lazur and her husband, Thomas, be changed from the Eastern Schuylkill Planning joint ordinance's designation of Woodland Preservation to Agricultural Preservation.
The land, about 424 acres bordering Carbon County, is on Broad Mountain, Lazur said. It is now zoned S1, a category which restricts sales of the land to 1.5-acre parcels.
Under the Woodland Preservation category, it could be sold in lots of at least 10 acres.
The Lazurs want the zoning category changed to Agricultural Preservation, which has no restrictions of the sizes of lots that can be sold.
"It isn't as restrictive as far as selling the land and doing what you want on the land," she said. "You can do a whole lot more on it you could have a house."
Lazur said she would meet with Nanovic to discuss the next step now that supervisors have adopted the joint ordinance.
Other residents, however, praised the joint ordinance. Michelle Griffith described it as "fabulous," and said it "will preserve the township as it is."