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Horse training facility, housing project receive approval

Published July 22. 2010 05:00PM

A proposed subdivision for a horse training and breeding facility in East Penn Township received conditional plan approval by the Carbon County Planning Commission.

During the commission's monthly meeting on Tuesday, the board voted to accept county planner, Ivan O. Meixell Jr.'s recommendation to grant conditional plan approval for the proposal by Advanced Racing Operations Consultant Corp., as long as the comments highlighting problem areas are addressed and adequately mitigated. Minor preliminary/final plan requirements that are not completed include the owner affidavit is not signed and certified; the surveyor certification is not signed; and the acreage of one plot should be revised.

The proposal calls for dividing two lots, owned by Robert and Debra Ann Ziegler and Walter J. and Carol K. Zlomsowitch, into four lots. Two of the lots, one from each family, would then be combined with land owned by the East Penn Airport Inc. to create a 48.8219-acre plot.

One question commission members posed was what steps will need to be taken since two of the proposed lots are in the Clean and Green and farmland preservation program.

Meixell said back taxes for the land would have to be paid since the lots would not be in the program anymore.

Meixell also explained the proposed subdivision is the first phase of the project, located at 1741/1777 Ben Salem Road. A land development plan will be required when development of the land occurs.

According to an article published in the TIMES NEWS on Nov. 18, 2009, the East Penn Planning Commission took a favorable look at the project.

During that meeting, Advanced Racing Operations Consultant Corp. presented a sketch plan, which calls for the establishment of a standardbred horse racetrack for training purposes only.

Attorney Gretchen Stearns, at that meeting, described the proposed facility as a "condo for horse trainers with a full-size track and five barns that would be rented to trainers."

The barns would be 80 by 200 feet and have a capacity for 60 horses.

Officials also explained that a proposal to use the manure on-site, turning it into methane gas, to generate electricity.

In other matters, the commission voted to recommend conditional plan approval to Catholic Senior Housing, for a project located at the former St. Ann's school in Lansford.

Meixell said the project is currently 60 percent complete. It is being done by Dolan Construction Inc. of Reading.

The project, located at 30 E. Bertsch St., calls for the renovation of the three-story school into a 17-unit subsidized apartment complex and an associated parking area containing 11 parking spaces, which was created by razing the former St. Ann's convent.

The $3 million renovation project, which began last year, is largely paid for through the federal office of Housing and Urban Development and is being done by the Diocese of Allentown and its Catholic Senior Housing and Health Care Services Agency.

According to a previous article published in the TIMES NEWS, the apartments should be ready for tenants by mid-August.

Other business that the planning commission acted on includes:

• Mary C. Pry received plan approval for a proposed subdivision at 1828 W. Lizard Creek Road, East Penn Township. Plans call for the subdivision of 190.527 acres into four lots.

• Francis M. Siano received plan approval for a proposed subdivision at 57 Sparrow Drive, Marty Axman in the Poconos Subdivision, Penn Forest Township. Plans call for the combining three smaller lots into one 1.43-acre lot.

• Golden Oaks Village, Inc. received conditional plan rejection for a proposed re-phasing plan in Kidder Township. The plan, as submitted, lacks plan requirements of Chapter 180, Article VII of the Kidder Township Zoning Ordinance regarding planned unit development and Chapter 153 Subdivision and Land Development requirements.

• Allyn R. Culleny received plan approval for a proposed subdivision at the intersection of White Spruce Way and Sunset Drive in Marty Axman in the Poconos Subdivision, Penn Forest Township. Plans call for the combining of two lots to create a 1.147-acre lot.

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