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Board meeting on variance request reset for Jan. 10

Published November 30. 2011 05:01PM

A Lower Towamensing Township business must wait until after the new year to have their request for a variance heard.

Representatives from AMPAL, Inc., of 2125 Little Gap Road, were scheduled to go before the township's zoning hearing board on Tuesday in search of permission to erect several additions onto their property.

Delayed by 35 minutes due to the lack of a stenographer, the hearing finally got under way after the township secretary arrived at the township municipal building to provide the board with a tape recorder.

Board solicitor Holly Heintzelman told the crowd of about 15 in attendance that AMPAL had requested a variance for the height requirements of a section of a township zoning ordinance which limits the height of structures in the Industrial Zoning District to 40-feet. She said AMPAL wants to erect blending/screening towers that would stand about 51-feet in height.

Heintzelman then asked those who may potentially want to give testimony to be sworn in. Afterward, zoning board Chairman Jim Ord asked whether each of the adjoining property owners who live within 200 feet of the business had been notified of the hearing.

At that time, two members of the public in attendance that are adjoining property owners said they never received any certified mail notifying them of the hearing.

Ord then suggested that since not every adjoining property owner who lives within 200 feet of the business were notified of the hearing, it should not proceed.

An attorney who represented AMPAL then asked for, and was granted, a waiver requirement under the municipalities planning code that the hearing be held within 60 days of the initial date of filing.

It was then agreed by both parties that AMPAL would next appear before the zoning hearing board at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10.

In his rejection letter, dated Dec. 10, 2010, township zoning officer Duane Dellecker said AMPAL's request for a variance was denied for several reasons.

Those reasons, Dellecker stated in his rejection letter, were because AMPAL's property is situated in an Industrial Zoning District; the blending/screening towers proposed to be erected would stand about 51-feet in height, whereby towers at that height currently exist on the property; and section 494 of the zoning ordinance limits the height of buildings to 40-feet.

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