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Cable firm opposes cargo airport

Published September 10. 2012 05:04PM

Service Electric Cablevision Inc., whose place of business is 380 Maplewood Drive, Hazle Township, Luzerne County, and which provides cable television to customers in East Union Township, has joined the township in requesting Schuylkill County Court to reverse the decision of the county zoning hearing board to allow the construction of a cargo airport in the township.

The township filed an appeal last Thursday and Service Electric on Friday.

Like the township supervisors, the cable company had voiced objections in nine hearings conducted by the zoning hearing board from Oct. 10, 2010, to May 2.

In its appeal it points out the township and cable company carried out their respective burdens of proving that Gladstone Partners, LP, of Pittsburgh, proposed use of the real estate in the township would likely cause substantial harm to the public health, safety and welfare, including, but not limited to, affecting, materially and adversely, the cable television service it provides customers and thereby materially and adversely affecting the financial viability, operations and existence of the cable company at the value of its real estate.

It claims the board erred in disregarding the expert testimony from an engineering firm from Washington, D.C., which pointed out that an airplane flying through a path of a satellite signal would cause a disruption in the picture being viewed on televisions in homes, interference from an aircraft radar altimeter would disrupt the satellite signals and airport radar altimeter with headend processing facilities could also cause a disruption in the signal. The cable company has 10 satellite dishes on the ground in the township to catch the satellite signals.

It claims in its petition that the zoning hearing board erred in finding and concluding "that the use is so designed, located and proposed to be operated that the public health, welfare and safety and convenience will be protected at least in regard to air traffic arriving and departing from the proposed airport."

It further claims there was insufficient evidence to show that the proposed use should not cause any type of noise disturbance, odor or nuisance to any residential properties in proximity to the airport because there were no homes in the area other than hunting cabins.

The appeal also claims the board erred in finding the flight path is designed as to not cause unreasonable interference with the cable company's earth stations which draw signals from satellites and transmit them to homes in the township. That they also erred in ruling the proposed cargo airport is compatible with adjoining developments and the character of the zone district.

The cable firm also claims the zoning board erred in ruling it had the jurisdiction to hear the appeal for a special exception to the county zoning ordinance because the township now has its own zoning hearing board and is the proper board to hear the case.

The township strongly argued in its appeal that the application should be heard by its zoning hearing board.

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