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Permits denied

Published March 26. 2011 09:03AM

Parryville's Zoning Hearing Board denied all but one variance request made by Mark Stemler, owner of Riverwalck Saloon, during a hearing Friday at the borough office.

Scott Snyder, chairman, noted that the only variance granted was for the business to be allowed to do loading and unloading outside of business hours.

Snyder noted that between 2008 and 2010, it was apparent that the property had undergone obvious changes. He also noted that the testimony given during the past hearings "was inconsistent to say the least."

"The function of the zoning hearing board relating to variance requests is to grant variances when the zoning ordinances puts unnecessary hardship on property owners, but when unnecessary hardship exists that was created by the appellant because of overdevelopment of the property, it is his own fault," he said.

The board also stipulated that the restaurant owner must secure a highway occupancy permit and comply with sewer enforcement regulations.

After Snyder read the board's results, attorney Carole Walbert, attorney for Stemler, asked to be on the record. Her request sparked an argument with attorney Gregory Mousseau, solicitor for the zoning hearing board.

Walbert wanted it recorded that she had conducted an investigation into Mousseau contacting Lester Wentz prior to the last hearing of the board and determined that Mousseau was the one who called Wentz and had him come to testify on behalf of the board. She said that he did not wish to do so and was threatened by a subpoena by Mousseau.

She said that there was discussion about parking concerns and that Wentz was asked to testify as to his former business practices at Walcks.

"This conversation was held without notice to me or my client and as such as the board is a working quasi judicial entity it was outside of its authority," Walbert said.

She said that by conducting a second hearing, she reserved her client's right to have deemed approval and also said that the board acted out of bias.

Stemler sought variances for his set backs and footage, parking requirements, allowing usage of decks and porches seasonally, dimensional requirements of parking spaces, off street loading, to convert one outbuilding into a garage, attic space in one of the secondary buildings, modify and convert a secondary building for covered parking, and to use covered motorcycle parking and storage.

He also sought to retain the archway and a variance from a sign set back.

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