EXETER TOWNSHIP — Undeterred by two recent appeals filed against his client, attorney Bruce J. Phillips on Tuesday submitted a written request to Exeter Township Zoning Officer Carl Alber asking the necessary permits be issued to Dr. Robert Dompkosky for the inpatient treatment center he plans to open in Harding.
The letter lays out the same reasoning Phillips gave last month when he declared a deemed approval of Dompkosky’s request for a special zoning exception to accommodate the proposed Sutton Creek Center for Change: That the township’s Zoning Hearing Board missed a deadline, resulting in an automatic win for the doctor.
Exeter Township Solicitor Gene Molino was out of town Tuesday. Township Zoning Board Solicitor Thomas Killino was unaware of the letter, but upon hearing about it called it “another attempt in a long line of attempts … to create a legal fiction.”
Exeter Township’s Board of Supervisors filed an appeal of Dompkosky’s claim of approval in Luzerne County Court on June 22. On July 3, nearly 90 concerned citizens represented by attorney Mark P. McNealis of Sweet Valley followed suit, filing their own appeal. The court has yet to take action on the case.
In Tuesday’s letter, Phillips repeats the original wording Dompkosky used in his zoning application to describe his plans for the former elementary school property, “a short-term inpatient counseling facility for an individual’s physical, mental and spiritual well being utilizing trained and/or licensed counselors, physicians and nursing staff for successful integration back into the community.”
In an interview with Times Leader in June, Dompkosky explained his plans in more detail, saying Sutton Creek Center for Change would be privately run and treat up to 50 patients at a time for addiction rehabilitation.