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Saturday Work Will Take Place for New Middle School
Written by Candace Perry Correspondent

            What started out as another middle school–related controversy for the Upper Perkiomen School District, Upper Hanover Township, and the residents of Montgomery Avenue abruptly ended at the Upper Hanover Zoning Hearing Board's meeting on Wednesday, May 30.

            In the application by the school district for the hearing to allow Saturday work, the district requested interpretation of the relevant section of the zoning ordinance. The legal notice, which was read by board chair Bill Fenley, stated "that the provisions of the noise control article shall not apply to the generation of sound in situations within the jurisdiction of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Similar to other projects in the Township that have been granted a favorable interpretation, the middle school project construction is under jurisdiction of OSHA and an interpretation of Section 500-28015.A(3) is requested as it applies to an exemption for this project."

            Gregory S. Ghen, attorney for the board said, "The zoning hearing board is concerned that it does not have jurisdiction over this ordinance." He noted that the construction project falls under OSHA regulations that control work times, noise levels, and other conditions, and as a result, the project is exempt from the township noise ordinance.

            Ghen noted that the township had encountered this situation previously with the YMCA building project. "That's why we're familiar with this problem," he said.

            The school district will accept conditions for the Saturday hours, which include work on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a limited basis in the area of the building footprint and adjacent to the footprint. No Saturday work will be permitted 100 feet outside of the footprint, and site work and earth moving work will be excluded.

            The work may occur as a result of inclement weather, and a "lost production log" will be kept and submitted to the township manager weekly. These conditions will be placed in the building permit.

            Any complaints about construction would have to be submitted to OSHA.





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