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Crematory expansion decision to be made

Published September 26. 2012 05:02PM

A decision on whether a crematory in Palmerton may expand could soon be rendered.

The request, by Arfan, Inc. Crematory, 517-519 Delaware Avenue, is scheduled before the borough's Zoning Hearing Board at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10.

At that time, the company will seek a special extension to extend or enlarge the use of the existing nonconforming crematory.

The applicant, Dr. Steve Looker, president of Cremation Systems, Inc. of Largo, FL, is seeking a special exception, and is appealing the interpretation of the ordinance by the borough zoning officer.

In his rejection letter, dated Aug. 22, borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker stated that the company has proposed to install a second human crematory to the existing facility, which is located in a Commercial Downtown zoning district.

However, section 306.7 of the borough's zoning ordinance required crematoriums to be within a cemetery, have a minimum lot size of five acres, and be setback 200-feet from all lot lines, Dellecker stated in his letter.

"Being as there is an existing crematory at this property that does not meet the requirements of section 306.B.7 of the zoning ordinance, a nonconforming conditions exists," Dellecker stated.

Further, Dellecker added "Section 808.D.3 of the borough's zoning ordinance deals with changes to nonconforming uses; requiring special exception action of the zoning hearing board in order to extend or enlarge the use in accordance with the regulations contained therein.

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