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Conditional approval given Antioch Church

Conditional final approval was given to the Antioch Church plan for the old White Christmas Tree Farm on High Hill Road in Washington Township.

There were complaints from residents focusing on several who complained that they had not received notices of zoning hearings.Supervisors were asked if the township would enforce deed restrictions. Engineer Roy Steward said it does not. Solicitor John Ashley said the township will enforce zoning hearing board restrictions. To get a deed restriction changed requires a zoning hearing.Antioch Attorney Kimberly Freimuth said the deed restrictions will be the same as the zoning restrictions. If they are the same, Ashley said the township would enforce them.Supervisors were asked what would happen if a new owner sees three buildings and wants to turn them into apartments. It would require a new land development plan, said Steward. Permission could not just be given by the supervisors without zoning approval, said Ashley. A zoning decision can always be appealed within 30 days.Ashley said everyone within 300 feet of the property should have been notified of the hearings at the time of the first one in 2010. Yet one man whose property abuts the church property and one across the street said they had not been notified.Ashley said it had been up to the church to provide the names of people within the 300-foot area.One objector said he discussed with the church the placing of houses against neighboring properties and they were moved to the right of the chalet. He said he was good with having people there part time but did not want apartments in case of a sale.Freimuth said there will be a maximum of 72 people and only for a week at a time.Supervisors were asked about the adequacy of the sewage system for 72 people. Ashley said a sewage plan will be a condition of approval and it also requires Department of Environmental Protection approval.Residents wanted to know if it would be a taxable property or exempt on religious grounds. It would be exempt, which led people to complain that the township makes it difficult for tax-paying businesses but supports a non-taxpaying church.It was given conditional approval, with the conditions being a highway occupancy permit and the Keystone Consulting comments in a letter dated Aug. 6.In other business: The Northern Lehigh Community Center thanked the township for its letter of support.Northern Lehigh Future Focus thanked it for the $300 contribution toward printing a historical-markers brochure which it hopes will be a valuable, educational asset.Citizens Fire Company requested and received its 2012 budgeted donation of $5,000.A nuisance ordinance covers such things as cesspools and wells that are not covered properly, excavations for buildings left open more than 30 days, fire damage not cleaned up within 120 days or left with openings such as a partially burned roof or windows that are not covered, motor vehicles without registration kept in the open or lawn equipment that can be heard more than 40-feet from a residence. People not in compliance will receive a notice from the township. If nothing is done the township can go on the property to abate the nuisance at the owner's cost. It was adopted.George Kern, emergency management person, received his annual allocation of $500.Carl Hamm had been in previously about a swimming pool filled with brown water.Zoning officer Jason Yaich said the water was treated by the county to prevent mosquitos. He said there is a phone number posted on the back door.Michele Roth had complained about weeds obstructing sight at Route 873 and Best Station Road. Secretary JoAnn Ahner had called PennDOT but got no results. She gave the phone number to Roth to try calling.Resident Ed Zeigler thanked the township for cleaning defaced road signs. He said he thinks his quarry has an airplane with five missing people in it. He had a diving crew that brought up a car and plans to do so again and look for a plane.