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West Penn supervisors file suit against road stand operator

Published January 22. 2013 05:01PM

West Penn Township supervisors filed an action in Schuylkill Count court against an operator of a seasonal roadside stand alleging violations of the township's zoning ordinance and seek an injunction temporarily until a hearing is held.

The action is brought against Steven C. Dunn, 59, Peach Drive, New Ringgold, who is owner of the property located at the intersection of state routes 309 and 443, in the village of South Tamaqua. The premises is located within the highway commercial zoning district under the ordinance and commonly referred to a the Leiby's intersection.

The complaint claims on or about June 16, 2006, and Aug. 1, 2006, Dunn obtained zoning permits to construct a shed and to operate a seasonal roadside stand on the premises. Later he obtained a zoning permit for a second shed but did not submit a land development plan. The zoning ordinance reads that a seasonable roadside stand cannot exceed 800 square feet and requires the stand to be portable.

The township claims since Dunn obtained the permit he has exceeded the 800 square feet limitations and has not removed the stand during the off-season and the township believes that in expanding Dunn no longer meets the definition of a seasonable roadside stand and is now actually a more comprehensive commercial retail use that includes the sale of prepared food and a substantial increase in the amount of square footage of retail space utilized.

The township also charges the new commercial use beyond a seasonal roadside stand Dunn has added a concrete pad and canopy and additional accessories uses, including the sale of ice cream cones and sundaes each of which requires a separate zoning permit.

The township charges Dunn has not obtained a zoning permit for the pad, canopy or ice cream stand and claims he has never submitted a land development plan as required when a property owner improves a nonresidential building.They also claim he needs a driveway permit.

The township charges Dunn has taken no action to curtail or limit his use of the premises to within the limits of his existing permits and continues to operate in violation of the ordinances for months after receiving notice of the violations.

Dunn has an appeal in the county court from rulings made by the West Penn Township Zoning Hearing Board which ruled he violated some ordinances

The township asked for an injunction to stop Dunn from opening his commercial enterprise on the premises in the Spring because the township has no adequate remedy at law and has no other manner in which to avoid irreparable harm which will be done to the township and the public if Dunn proceeds to re-open his enterprise without submitting a land development plan and obtaining zoning and driveway permits for his use on the premises.

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