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Nude campers prompt complaints

Published July 09. 2012 05:02PM

Susanna Vaughan presented pictures from the Woods Campground in Towamensing Township which abuts her property. They showed people walking through the forest naked. Larry Lewellyn said they have been at odds with the campground and have asked the state police for help.

At the July meeting he said garbage has been thrown on their property and equipment has been stolen from tree stands. The police asked if they can identify the people and he gave them pictures. They asked him what he wants them to do and he said, "Keep them from trespassing." The police told him to go to a magistrate.

The extended Vaughan family is often visiting and has little kids. He said he knows the current supervisors did not permit the campground but they are now the responsible ones. Supervisor Guy Seifert said trespassing is a civil issue and asked if it is posted.

It is always posted, Lewellyn said.

Mary Ann Lewellyn said the board had taken action on the property even before the Woods group bought it. They learned from the newspaper that Carbon County had approved 190 sites, up from 80. The state Supreme Court ruled in Vaughan's favor when the ownership of the road was questioned. Four wheelers use the road.

Larry Lewellyn said one trespasser threatened him. "One of your duties is the health, welfare and safety of residents," he said. "There is noise until 3 a.m. Why not have a noise ordinance that covers more than dogs barking."

There was supposed to be a buffer zone but there is none. There were lots of waivers approved and now it appears that Woods cannot control its clients.

Seifert said the noise could be covered by the rezoning ordinance.

Lewellyn asked why they pass ordinances if they are going to waive or give variances for so much.

Dick Bieling said there was a "lot of land" connected to the Greenzweig School in 1892 but Supervisor Tom Newman said it is now 80-feet by 160-feet.

"If Lana and Susan Kuehner want to convey it to the township, is it within reason to try and get enough land for a septic system. Do we just want to restore it or want to use it?" Seifert asked. "It's a good idea to save it as long as it is no burden on the township."

Karl Rolappe, president of the Towamensing Township Historical Commission, said the cost of a Porta-John is not reasonable. The cost to the township would be for electricity ($600 annually) and insurance ($147/month). A generator could be used until electricity is available.

Todd Bonser gave a price of $45 to mow and trim. It would take approximately 28 weekly cuttings or 14 bi-monthly. However, it is one cost the commission thinks would not need to be paid because they could handle it themselves. A fence is unnecessary except possibly on the rear boundary. There is room for angle parking.

Basic stabilization would cost $31,705 with $14,780 coming from donations and volunteers such as the roofing slate which Seifert said he can provide.

Legal fees for the title or lease will be $250.

Rolappe gave a list of costs for contractors to do everything and a separate list of what the commission can do. He said the way he understands it the Kuehner family will no longer own the farm at some point.

Newman said the township is "looking at it in a positive light." Seifert made a motion to table it as the commission continues to gather information.

Susan Muscavage asked if anything could be done about the noise from My Little World Day Care on Forest Street. She works at home and said she cannot concentrate with the noise of 80 kids playing outside the window.

Kleintop said the township noise ordinance is not good for what would be needed.

On a day with nice weather the children are outside all day, Muscavage said. Another problem is that people from the day care park in her yard.

Kleintop said supervisors could talk to the day care owner and Seifert said the zoning officer could check it out after checking back through the records to see how many children were permitted.

Charles Laviolette, representative to the Palmerton library, said the library is holding a Read Across the Sky program to see what age group reads the most. A summer reading program is held for kindergarten through sixth grade on Fridays.

Jason Costenbader was hired as a new road-crew member. He has a CDL license.

Roy Christman was appointed to the Hanover rewriting of zoning and subdivision ordinances project. He has resigned from the planning commission.

David Del Grosso has submitted a letter of interest for the open position on the planning commission.

The road crew has worked on dirt roads, is cutting shoulders and has half the mowing done.

The bridge on Hemlock Street has to be closed or replaced. It will be temporarily closed as a safety issue, which is what Carbon Engineering recommended.

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