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Zoning officer responds to complaint about Washington Twp. junkyard issues

Published September 29. 2010 05:00PM

Zoning officer Justin Yaich of Washington Township replied to the complaint of David and Patrina Meixsell on junkyard issues in the township:

The issue of Hanna's Junkyard has gone before the Common Pleas Court of Lehigh County and was appealed through the Commonwealth Court. Through the process the court determined, since thejunkyard was in operation since the 1960s, it was a pre-existing non-conforming use and should be treated as such.

The court stated "to the extent that acreage or expansion limitations, setbacks and junk placement restrictions would negatively impact upon protections afforded to Hanna's pre-existing non-conforming use, those provisions cannot be applied." Essentially, this relieved the property from complying with certain sections of Washington Township's jundyard ordinance.

"The staff at Washington Township take all complaints seriously" Yaich said. "It is the township's duty to enforce our ordinances. However, Washington Township has a fiinancial responsibility to its taxpayers.

"Washington Township would be doing a disservice to its tax base by entering into court actions that we believe do not have merit and are likely to be overturned. Washington Township will not spend money on matters that are not backed by sound legal precedent."

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