Catasauqua Press

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Council to clarify cell tower ruling

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Despite recent court decision, Hanover officials to discuss zoning ordinance

Solicitor Jackson Eaton reported to Hanover Township Council at its meeting May 3 that a recent ruling by Pennsylvania courts took cell towers out of the utility category. The township was looking for changes in its zoning laws to restrict cell towers.

“Before the ruling, there was a possibility that cell towers could be put anywhere because they had priority,” Eaton said. “With the new ruling, we might be better able to control where they go using the existing regulations.”

Council had planned on looking at options for cell towers at a special session prior to its next meeting.

Although the matter is less urgent than before because of the court ruling, council still wants to clarify how cell towers will be handled. Before the ruling, there was potential cell towers could be installed anywhere in the township, even on private property. The original call for the meeting was to take measures to preserve the character of the township.

“Even though the matter is less urgent, we ought to take time to put in restrictions on where we want the towers,” Eaton said.

Discussion on the proposed zoning ordinance was expected at the May 17 meeting.

In other news, a property on Tacoma was the subject of some discussion. Council addressed the property at a prior meeting because there was a bevy of unregistered cars in the driveway.

According to Councilman Bob Heimbecker, it appears the property is in foreclosure. Heimbecker indicated he saw Safeguard, a company that often handles foreclosed properties, at the house securing the building.

According to neighbors, there was a dog left unattended on the property. Township Manager Sandra Pudliner will have the building inspector check the status and will report back to council.

Pudliner reported on the outcome of the zoning hearing for Primo Trucking. The company is looking to expand its existing operation but has a limited amount of space.

“The variances they asked for were approved,” she said, “but residents on Sherwood expressed concern about noise and lights from trucks parked at the new proposed warehouse docks.”

Councilman Curtis Wegfahrt attended the meeting and confirmed the owner of Primo Trucking is willing to work with the township and residents to reduce light and noise pollution. One suggested method was to install a soundproofing wall on a strip of land that separates the trucking company and Carmike Cinema.

Noise-abatement issues will be part of the land development plan that will be submitted by Primo Trucking. The owner indicated he is interested in staying in the existing location.