Judge rules board must hear airport request
Variances to the county ordinance was granted to two property owners by the Schuylkill County Zoning Hearing Board after holding hearings Wednesday evening at the courthouse in Pottsville. The board deferred making a decision on the ruling of a county judge who tossed the ball back to the board on the proceedings for a cargo airport to be located partly in East Union and Kline townships.
Christopher and Heather Breisch, Minersville, were granted a dimensional variance to the county zoning ordinance to allow them separate a building housing a barber shop on Sunbury Street from a dwelling located on South Street. The two buildings are part of one lot.
A variance from minimal lot size and width was granted Joseph Q. Rodriquez, 1322-1324 E. Pine St., and property at 1321 E. Mahanoy Avenue, in Mahanoy City.
Attorney Christopher Hobbs, solicitor for the zoning board, said a decision will be made by the board at a later date whether to hold a special hearing or to schedule a hearing on its regular monthly meeting date, first Thursday of February, to act on the order issued by Schuylkill County Judge John E. Domalakes.
East Union Township supervisors filed a petition in the county court to intervene to block the hearing before the county zoning board on the application of Gladstone Partners, LPC, Pittsburgh, who seek a special exception to the county zoning ordinance to construct an International Cargo Airport, accessory facilities and business park on property owned by Butler Enterprises and is located in the two townships.
A hearing got under way last October but was halted by East Union Township which sought to stop the hearing on grounds that the county court and the zoning hearing board did not have jurisdiction to hold the hearing because the township has its own zoning hearing board. Although the township was active in preparing to name such a board it did not become official until the day after Gladstone filed its application to the county board.
Before the hearing had started the board was challenged on jurisdiction and ruled it had jurisdiction and began the hearing but halted the hearings after the township filed its intervention proceeding with the court.
Domalakes, in an opinion handed down Thursday, ruled it had jurisdiction and ordered the zoning hearing board to hold a hearing on whether it will consider the proposal for the cargo airport.
Domalakes stated, 'This Court cannot act as a zoning hearing board, and a full record must be made before any intelligible review can be made, if one must be made. This court will not entertain any further motions that are in anyway related to the issues that have already been presented to the court."