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Hearing on cargo airport continued one more time

Published January 24. 2011 05:00PM

The Schuylkill County Zoning Hearing Board canceled a scheduled hearing on Feb. 3 on the application of Gladstone Partners, of Pittsburgh, which is seeking a special exception to the county zoning ordinance to construct a multimillion dollar cargo airport and business park on land partly in East Union Township and Kline Township.

The hearing was canceled because the East Union Township supervisors have filed an appeal with the state commonwealth court to overturn the ruling by a Schuylkill County judge who rejected the township's claim that the hearing should be before the township's zoning hearing board.

East Union Township intervened in the case and filed a petition in the county court claiming the court and the county zoning hearing board did not have the jurisdiction to act on the application. However, Judge John E. Domalakes ruled against the township stating the court had jurisdiction and remanded the case over to the county zoning hearing board to make a decision whether it had jurisdiction.

The board then scheduled a hearing for Feb. 3 to take up the matter of jurisdiction, but now it will await the higher court's ruling.

Back in June 2009 the township adopted a zoning ordinance creating its own zoning hearing board. Prior to that date the township came under the county's zoning ordinance.

Also in June, Gladstone filed an application for a special exception with the county's planning commission and zoning officer but the zoning officer returned the application to the company because it was aware the township was in the process of forming its own zoning hearing board.

Gladstone appealed the zoning officer's ruling and Domalakes ordered the matter brought before the county zoning hearing board to decide whether it had jurisdiction and that is when the township intervened.

The township became involved in the case because it had received complaints from many of its residents who voiced their opposition to having the airport in their township.

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