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North Abington delays vote on SAPA plan

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North Abington delays vote on SAPA plan

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:48 pm

The Scranton Times Tribune

North Abington officials delay vote on regional land use plan
Published: February 3, 2010

NORTH ABINGTON TWP. - Amid lingering concerns from residents about land-use restrictions contained in a proposal that will guide development in an 11-county region, supervisors in North Abington Twp. tabled a vote on whether to approve the comprehensive plan Tuesday night.

Only North Abington and the city of Scranton have yet to approve the Scranton-Abingtons Planning Association's comprehensive plan, which addresses issues such as land use, conservation and zoning.

Gary Wilding, chairman of the board of supervisors, has read through the draft and said he is concerned that North Abington's designation as a conservation district may limit the township's ability to encourage development.

John Roba, who owns a 54-acre farm in the township, said a proposal in the plan could set a minimum lot size of 25 acres in North Abington Twp.  Another proposal would limit development within 125 feet of any stream, creek, wetland or other body of water in the township.

"I'm not for development ... but you have to keep our options open," Mr. Roba said.  "This plan will not let us do that."

SAPA Chairman Lee Jamison has said the plan will not limit municipalities from making their own rules and rejecting any portions of the plan officials do not want to institute.  Residents and supervisors are still skeptical.

"It seems like we're the country yokels, and the big city boys are telling us what to do," landowner and resident Romas Dovydaitis said.  "I think it's a great mistake to pursue this any further."

Supervisor Tom Mundrake, who has been involved in SAPA since its inception, said being a part of the plan could give the township more opportunities for grants and help it update its zoning ordinances.  He also has concerns about the limits on land use and development, though.

"I can see the good and the bad," he said.  "It's a tough decision, and I'm struggling with it."
Township supervisors plan to vote on whether to approve the plan at the March meeting.
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