The Scranton Times Tribune
North Abington bows out of 11-municipality comprehensive land-use plan
BY ERIN L. NISSLEY (STAFF WRITER)
Published: April 14, 2010
NORTH ABINGTON TWP. - After months of discussion, supervisors in North Abington Twp. voted unanimously to reject a comprehensive land-use plan because of myriad concerns about limitations the plan seemed to place on residents and the township itself.
North Abington Twp. became the first of 11 communities to reject the Scranton-Abingtons Planning Association's comprehensive plan, which will eventually map out issues like zoning, land use and green space conservation.
Nine other communities, including Dunmore, South Abington Twp., Clarks Summit and Clarks Green, have accepted the plan. SAPA officials are still waiting for a decision from Scranton.
North Abington Twp. residents came to supervisors last year with concerns about several items included in the SAPA plan, especially a proposal that called for a minimum lot size of 25 acres in an agricultural zone.
Former SAPA chairman Lee Jamison had said that the 25-acre lot proposal had been removed and has repeatedly told municipal officials that decisions about development would ultimately remain the responsibility of individual municipalities.
Even so, North Abington officials said Tuesday they were still concerned about what they would be getting into if they approved the SAPA plan.
"I've read this plan three times in the last month, and I'm still confused as to what they're trying to do," said Supervisor Ernie D'Agata. "It seems like we're not gaining much and we're losing a lot of control."
Late Tuesday, SAPA secretary Denise Prowell said she was disappointed to hear about North Abington's decision, but that it would not derail the plan.
"If that is their decision, the plan would be adjusted to reflect that," she said. "We'll have to get in touch with (the state Department of Economic and Community Development) and the community planners to see what our next step should be."