Wednesday, September 18, 2019


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Trash Hauler Gets Variance from Washington Township Zoning Board
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner Correspondent

            Washington Township Zoning Hearing Board approved a variance for Diamond Disposal, a trash hauling business, to continue to operate in the township.  The business is located along Old Route 100. 

            Eugene Orlando, solicitor for the zoning board, explained to the large group of citizens that the prior non-conforming use of the six acre property as a quarry and landscaping business allowed trucks and their ancillary uses on the site. 

            Orlando noted Washington Township zoning ordinances allow a prior non-conforming use to continue.  However, the non-conforming use must be consistent with the previous use.  He explained in some instances a trash truck fits with the previous permitted use of a landscaping truck.

            Matt Doll, attorney for the applicant, presented evidence from a May, 1987 Washington Township zoning hearing that permitted a quarry and landscaping business on the site.  That zoning decision is binding on future zoning boards.  

            The zoning board placed several conditions on its' approval.  The conditions include no overnight storage of trash on the site, no transfer station, no waste dumping, access to the site must be resolved with a Highway Occupancy Permit from PennDOT, trailers on the site must be removed, and an EDU must be purchased for sewer access. Additionally, Diamond Disposal must comply with all township ordinances and land development plans.  

            Approximately six weeks ago several residents of Washington Township came before the Board of Supervisors to complain about the trash hauling business.  The residents claimed Diamond Disposal operated its business in a "Watershed Conservation District." 

            Additionally, they were concerned the business was operating late at night and using the entrance of a local bar to access its site. 

            The township zoning officer, LTL Consultants Inc., informed Diamond Disposal it needed a permit to operate its business and it was in violation of the township zoning ordinances.  Diamond Disposal appealed the zoning officer's decision. 

            On September 27th, the Board of Supervisors, who are a party to any zoning hearing in the township, sent a letter to the zoning hearing board that it did not object to the business.  However, the issue of access to the property by a neighboring driveway must be resolved, and the property cannot be used as a transfer station.   

            A transfer station allows trash to be dumped by one hauler and picked up by another hauler.  Thomas Palmer, Andrew Tokarchek, Albert Rizzetto, Lisa Gaucker, Sharon Cabral Smith, and Mary Ann Galloway all entered their appearances as parties to the hearing because they are near or adjoining neighbors to Diamond Disposal.  Mary Galloway summed up the position of the neighbors.  She said, "My concerns are dust, dirt, noise, and smell.  I do not want to smell garbage."  

            Solicitor Orlando explained a written formal decision from the zoning board would be available within 45 days.  Within 30 days any person who has entered his appearance as a party to the zoning hearing can file an appeal of the zoning board's decision with the Court of Common Pleas in Berks County.





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