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Polk Township Considering Ordinance Changes, New Ordinance, Conditions – Times News Online

Published on March 03, 2022 at 1:45 p.m.

Polk Township supervisors held two public hearings and a conditional use hearing Monday night before their monthly council meeting.

The Conditional Use Hearing, at which Lord Is Exalted Church applied for use of a building in a residential zoned area, included testimony from two impassioned members.

“I moved here 17 years ago. I was looking for a church. I saw an ad in the local newspaper. I have been there and seen them working with young people and old people. I am 71 years old. The pastor comes to shovel the snow, cut the grass and other ways to show his love,” said Idella Mable.

She went on to explain the youth programs they have, including one in the summer.

Meredith Francis explained how the church collects and distributes clothing and food to families in need. She had the opportunity to work with young people.

“We are an ingenious church for the people. I could talk all night about our church family,” she said.

Pastor Christopher DuBose and his wife, Shauntise, purchased the former Wild Rose Country Line Dancing Club, 361 Interchange Road, from Judy and Ken Schuler in July 2021.

The Lord is Exalted Church has been around since 2000. Its original home was in the Tannersville/Bartonsville area. He described it as a multi-purpose Christian center and a church that supports the community.

“Worshipping the Lord is our primary focus,” said DuBose, who also oversees churches in New York. “We are grateful and thankful to now be part of Polk Township.”

He shared with supervisors that spiritual services are held on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the building. It provides online church services on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Township attorney James Fareri suggested that supervisors approve conditional use, but with a few conditions. Due to its limited septic tank, occupancy cannot exceed 66 people at a time. They cannot use the kitchen. If occupancy increases or they want to use the kitchen, they need to upgrade the septic tank. They need to get the highway occupancy permit, which DuBose said the process is almost complete and he will get the certificate. And they must comply with all other Polk Township ordinances.

Supervisors agreed to the terms and voted 3-0 to allow the church to continue using the building.

“You are going to outgrow this place. You have a big audience, as seen here tonight,” Supervisor Carl Heckman told DuBose and the handful of people who accompanied him to the hearing.

Debate on solar energy

Chairman Brian Ahner explained that solar energy installations are now permitted in certain zoning areas and that this amendment expands the areas in which installations are permitted.

The amendment includes certain regulations, landscaping requirements, utility lines should be underground, and appropriate warning signs must be visible in multiple locations on the property.

It modifies the grid of uses for the industrial district by adding “solar energy production, commercial” to the list of conditional uses.

There was no public testimony. A lawyer and two representatives from Samsung Solar, who are working on an application to build a new facility in the township, were present at the hearing.

The supervisors did not vote during the hearing, but waited to do so during the first game of their board meeting at 7 p.m. They voted 3-0 in favor of passing the zoning amendment.

other business

The hearing regarding zoning and SALDO amendments, changing the medical marijuana ordinance, and establishing a nuisance fire alarm ordinance was brief. The zoning changes included a new section stating that “recreational vehicles, trailers and tents may not be used as short-term rentals under any circumstances.”

It also updated language regarding recreational cabins, storage units, township road requirements, and pre-requisites for timber harvesting. Amendments to the cantons’ road obligations were also included in the SALDO.

A section describing purpose, district regulations, definitions, usage regulations, legal and regulatory requirements, severability, and penalties has been added to the Medical Marijuana Ordinance. Two sections containing lists of uses have been modified.

The purpose of the False Fire Alarm Ordinance is to “facilitate the reduction of false fire alarms and the misuse of fire department manpower and resources caused by the dispatch of units on the scene of a false alarm,” he said.

The ordinance provides for fines for false alarms. On the first occurrence, there will be a $100 fine. The second false alarm will result in a $200 fine. The penalty will not exceed $1,000. The fine must be paid to the municipality within 14 days. A separate fine will be imposed if the fine is not paid.

All the ordinances are on the website of the municipality, www.polktwp.org.