Builder questions Lumberland board
“It seems to me that the process is correct in the way that the town is handling the zoning re-write,” she continued. “The content, from my perspective, appears to be appropriate and legal. I think that the issue with the gas drilling is a new frontier and the issue with respect to prohibition of industry is not a new frontier. I think our code, once finalized, as proposed, should stand the test of time. But it always remains to be seen. People sue each other all the time, with or without merit.”
“What is the process if the town is subject to litigation for their re-zoning?” asked Petersheim.
“Those decisions would be made by the town board if and when it happened,” said Jose-Decker. “If someone was aggrieved, they would file an Article 78, the town would respond, there could potentially be a hearing and the court would decide.”
Another citizen questioned the permanence of the proposed changes. Rajsz responded that such laws can be amended in the future.
Rajsz added that it remains to be seen whether the gas that might be present in the area will be worth harvesting. “When we’re looking at the Marcellus Shale this far south, we have numerous discussions at the Upper Delaware Council and other committee meetings, that in here they’re calling it cooked gas, meaning that it’s really useless. We don’t know where the pockets of gas are. There are many studies out there. Which one is the right one?”
“That’s still speculation,” said Petersheim.
Rajsz reiterated that the efforts of the town boards are meant to take into account the interests of all residents. “We’re protecting the town by attempting to prohibit certain types of heavy industrial use and maintain our current quality of life,” said Rajsz, who urged everyone to form their own opinions. “You can get a copy of our draft zoning laws and make your own assessment and come to our public hearing. It’s online and available in written format. I suggest that everybody get a copy and read through it.”
The public hearing has not yet been set. For more information visit www.townoflumberland.org or call 845/856-4777, extension 227.