A year after rejecting a zoning change request by Rockefeller Group, East Allen Township is now being sued by the development company. The announcement was made by township solicitor Joseph Piperato during the Board of Supervisors workshop meeting on June 12.
Piperato said that Rockefeller is challenging the township’s zoning ordinance with the claim that it does not provide for a “logistic center.”
In 2018, supervisors denied Rockefeller’s request for a zoning change that would allow them to build a warehouse on Weaversville Road. Rockefeller filed an appeal, but then withdrew that appeal. They have since countered with a curative amendment, which will require that the township hold hearings, call witnesses, and utilize experts. The decision will be made by a judge, not supervisors.
“We are now being sued for an appeal they filed and withdrew from,” said Supervisor Mark Schwartz.
“[This is] money that the township has no budget for,” he continued. “[It will] cost the taxpayers money.”
However, supervisors said they plan to move forward with the township’s defense. Residents have made it clear, they said, that they do not want more warehouses in the township.
This is something all residents in attendance agreed with.
“We just cannot bow to this kind of pressure,” remarked one resident.
“We want you to testify and be heard,” Schwartz told residents in attendance.
The hearings, which must commence within 60 days, will be open to the public.
In other news, the township’s ambulance corps made a presentation to supervisors, outlining their recent activities. Justine Huber, president of the ambulance corps, and Jon Kopishke, captain of the ambulance corps, gave the presentation.
There are currently 23 volunteers, which is down from the 29 the ambulance corps had in 2018. However, the ambulance corps remains one of the only volunteer ambulance stations left in the area.
They are continuing to participate in community outreach and offer courses, such as CPR training. They are also performing mutual aid response with neighboring municipalities and providing stand-by coverage for local events.
While Huber said that equipment is aging, the organization is constantly seeking grants to help pay for replacements.
The newest service offered by the organization is transport services from hospitals for East Allen residents.
Huber and Kopishke said they appreciate the township’s support.
The feeling of respect was mutual.
“[You have] a very hard job,” said Supervisor Georgiann Hunsicker. “All the supervisors appreciate what you do.”