CLEARFIELD – The meeting room was packed at Tuesday’s Lawrence Township Supervisors meeting, with most of those present residents of the Goldenrod area with questions for the supervisors regarding zoning.
During the meeting June 5, residents expressed concerns about a recent zoning change that affected several areas of the township, including lots adjacent to Goldenrod and Rivers Bend properties.
The change was from Rural Suburban to Rural Agriculture. The properties were posted as per Pennsylvania Municipal Code and a public hearing was held, which was advertised in local media twice, as per the municipal code.
The main concerns residents had included not feeling that they had adequate notification of the proposed changes and concern of what could be built on the lots, including agricultural businesses, such as a farm.
Supervisor Chairman Randy Powell asked those gathered to keep remarks brief. The first to speak was Brian Merrow, who read a statement from Goldenrod residents who were unable to attend the meeting.
Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew attended the June 5 meeting and the letter indicated that the lots affected were not properly posted and asked if this would change legal status of the zoning change.
The letter also expressed concerns about what would happen to property values in the future and noted current residents took zoning into account when they purchased their properties.
They feel information was withheld from residents and things were done without adequate public knowledge.
Also within the letter was a question regarding reviewing of the minutes of the meeting where the vote to make the zoning changes occurred and the minutes did not indicate any discussion of the matter.
Solicitor James Naddeo explained that, by law, during a public hearing, there is a court stenographer present who records what is said and there would be a transcript available under the Right to Know laws.
Merrow asked if that would be part of the public record under the Sunshine Law and Naddeo explained it would fall under Right to Know instead and there was a brief argument between the two regarding the difference between the two laws.
Supervisor Jeremy Ruffner added that the transcript is available regardless and only needs a written request.
After the letter was read, another resident asked if the supervisors were considering making any changes. “It’s wrong to have agriculture in a housing development,” he said. Powell said they were discussing the matter.
Later in the meeting, when asked when a decision would be made, Powell said the supervisors were planning to discuss the matter with the code enforcement officer in a work session and they hoped to have a decision at the next meeting July 3.
In other business, the supervisors heard from Larry Putt, representing the Lawrence Recreation Park. He said they are getting quotes on a camera security system for the park.
Ruffner advised they look for an IP-based system because they are less lightening prone and can eventually feed into the township’s system.
Putt also reported they are trying to find a solution for the problem of dog owners not cleaning up after their animals and Ruffner said they hope the cameras will help with that while the township continues to explore a dog park.
Under code enforcement, the supervisors conditionally approved a development plan along U.S. Route 322 on Rockton Mountain for a new Dollar General store, provided other county agencies also approve.
The supervisors also approved a development plan along the Clearfield-Shawville Highway, adjacent to Arby’s for a new business projected to employ 8-10 people.
The supervisors also approved plans presented by Bob Greenland to do some lot consolidations at the former PennDOT building, now The Daisy Place.
Greenland said he is working on cleaning up the deed with some sub-divisions, consolidations and maintaining the right of way for the township.
Residents are reminded that there are guidelines regarding lateral repairs to eliminate inflow and infiltration problems and if they have questions they should contact the code enforcement office. Powell added that residents will still be fined for non-compliance.
The supervisors learned McDonald’s is holding a customer appreciation event June 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A tent permit has been issued and the event will include prize drawings and activities.
Residents are also encouraged to attend Glen Richey Fire Co.’s 50th anniversary celebration this weekend, beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
Tar and chipping bids were opened with the bid from Jefferson Paving of $70,248.38 accepted.