Judge sends cargo airport back to county zoning board
The hearings on a proposed cargo airport to be constructed in East Union Township is back with the Schuylkill County Zoning Hearing Board according to an order handed down by Judge John E. Domalakes after a brief hearing held last week in Schuylkill County court.
The main dispute between East Union Township and the county zoning hearing board is that the township wants the matter heard by the township's zoning hearing board and not by the county's zoning hearing board. The township filed suit with the county court to stop the hearing before the county board and Gladstone Partners, of Pittsburgh, which seeks to construct the cargo airport, sought to quash the township's suit.
The county zoning hearing board had previously ruled it had jurisdiction to hear the application of Gladstone for a zoning change to build the airport. T township then filed suit to stop the hearing and Domalakes ruled against the township and ordered the hearings to resume. The zoning hearing board was given 90 days to reschedule its hearings.
There had been one day of hearing before the township filed action to stop the hearings and at that hearing a consultant for Gladstone had testified the project would bring many jobs to the area including technicians for salaries ranging in the $60,000 to $70,000 bracket.
The proposed site is in an area which was previously stripped for mining coal and backfilled. Many residents of the township have expressed concern over noisy landing flights over their hamlets and heavy traffic on roads. They will be given a chance to testify at the hearings listing their oppositions.
Domalakes advised any appeals to a higher court be withheld until the zoning hearing board makes a ruling on the merits of the case. Then the parties who do not agree with the decision can begin their appeals.