Asphalt company appeals rejection

REEDSVILLE – Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. has filed an appeal regarding the rejection of a waiver request by the Brown Township Zoning Hearing Board that would have allowed for construction of a proposed asphalt plant in Reedsville.

The appeal was filed on May 16 after Hawbaker was denied a request from the Zoning Hearing Board for a special exception permit. Hawbaker was given 30 days to file the appeal as of May 3, the date they received the written order and decision.

Hawbaker has a conditional agreement of sale with Edge Wood Estates Inc., who owns the property, dated Feb. 20 for the 12.5-acre property. On March 18, Hawbaker submitted a notice of appeal from decision of the zoning officer seeking a special exception to permit the construction of an asphalt plant.

The special exemption was requested because the plant would be classified as a heavy manufacturing facility and the property is zoned as light manufacturing.

Brown Township Zoning Hearing Board wrote in its decision that it rejected the request because the evidence presented on behalf of Hawbaker failed to meet its burden of proof that construction would not substantially increase traffic congestion and it would not impact the public safety negatively, as required under Section 1813 of the Zoning Code.

In the appeal filed by Hawbaker, it states the Board failed to comply with the standards in its own zoning code as well as Pennsylvania law. According to the appeal, the board stated that the applicant had to prove it met standards set in Section 1813 but in the Zoning Code it states the Board must make those findings and that no burden is placed upon an applicant to prove the same.

The appeal states the Brown Township Zoning Hearing Board inappropriately required Hawbaker to disprove statements which Hawbaker was not able or required to answer.

The court will rule on whether the board was correct in its decision to reject Hawbaker’s request.

Brown Township Zoning Officer Teresa King said Hawbaker has the right to file a petition to file new evidence. She added if Hawbaker doesn’t submit new evidence, the judge has the right to stand with the board’s decision or overrule the decision.

King said the judge can decide to hear the case himself or he will send it back to the Zoning Hearing Board.

The public has a right to file a notice on intervention, if they would like to speak in front of the judge, King said. She said the public has 30 days from the date the appeal was filed May 16.

An official court date for the appeal to he heard has yet to be announced.