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Themed water park approved

Published July 21. 2010 05:00PM

A themed water park has been approved in Lower Towamensing Township.

The township's Zoning Hearing Board on Tuesday unanimously granted four variance requests to Blue Mountain Waterpark, L.P., to construct a recreational water park at the Blue Mountain Ski Area.

As a result, the Summer Splash water park will be located in a Resort and Recreation Zoning District, adjacent to the ski area on about 20 acres of the 58-acre parcel at 1660 Blue Mountain Drive.

The interpretations and/or variances sought after by Barbara Green, owner of the ski area, dealt with setbacks and off-street parking and loading areas for the water park.

The first variance granted pertained to a section of the zoning ordinance that requires parking areas be provided on the same lot as the use being served within 300-feet of the use, according to Duane Dellecker, township zoning officer.

The second variance granted requires all common parking areas and access drives be all-weather hard-surfaced, Dellecker said.

The third variance granted pertains to a section of the zoning ordinance that requires a minimum 50-foot front yard setback, while another section of the zoning ordinance prohibits buildings and structures to be located in a required front yard setback. It was agreed that a 33-foot front yard setback would be adhered to, he said.

The fourth and final variance that was granted pertains to a section of the zoning ordinance that prohibits off-street loading areas in a required front yard, Dellecker said.

Dellecker said there was no public opposition to the plan.

In May, the Carbon County Planning Commission granted approval for the proposed land development for the water park to Green, who said Summit Splash would be an outdoor water splash park that would include rides themed after historic areas of the county, such as the Lehigh River, mining, railroads and the rich canal history.

The park will be built in phases, Green said, with the first phase being the water park, and, the second phase, hotels/time-share, and more rides, if the water park proves successful.

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