Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Animal feeding operations at issue in Dorrance

July 14. 2014 10:53PM
By Tom Huntington Times Leader Correspondent

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DORRANCE TWP. — Complaints about proposed zoning regulations involving concentrated animal feeding operations and the ongoing legal rift between a Stairville Road resident and Mountain Express Trucking dominated Monday’s township supervisors meeting.

Kevin Gallagher of Alberdeen Road told the supervisors that he is concerned proposed zoning regulations could impact on his right to use his land for agricultural purposes, and furthermore would potentially impose regulations that could affect his right to private property.

“I’m worried how these regulations will affect me … if I want to use my land for agriculture,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher, however, was told by attorney Don Karpowich, solicitor, that there are no rules currently in the township’s code book, but he said that he has developed “amendments” that he plans to present to the township’s planning commission with regard to locating what are known as CAFOs in the vicinity of residential housing.

“We’re not going to proposed that we will control them,” Karpowich said , “Rather we want to regulate where they can be located.”

Karpowich said he is acting at the request of the supervisors in light of a CAFO situation in nearby Salem Twp. as well as concerns about CAFOs which were raised at a recent conference in Harrisburg of the state supervisors association.

Keith Hazlak, of Stairville Road, as he has in the past, complained about noise and traffic caused by Mountain Express. Hazlak pressed his case by citing an incident in June in which a trailer unit became unhitched from a tractor, blocking both lanes of Stairville Road. Hazlak said the incident could have led to a fatal accident.

In addition, Hazlak complained about inaction by attorney C. David Pedri, solicitor for the township’s zoning board. Hazlak said that Pedri has failed to act on a case before Luzerne County Court in which Mountain Express officials have filed an appeal of zoning violations which the township’s zoning hearing board found against the trucking firm in November 2013.

“What is he doing?” Hazlak asked. “Why doesn’t he get the matter moving?” Hazlak added, “We know Mountain Express is violation. Why aren’t the rules enforced?”

Karpowich told Hazlak that the supervisors did their job by having hearings conducted in November and now it’s between the zoning board, court and truck company.

On agenda items, the supervisors acted to approve a liquor license request submitted by Flo’s Deli of 683 South Mountain Blvd. and they entered into an agreement with the Luzerne Conservation District for road maintenance on Taney Road with the cost not to exceed $26,684.

They also approved the sale of a 2004 model dump truck through Auctions International, Inc. an internet firm. The truck is to be sold online, with the bidding to start at $15,000.

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