Zoning Board Hearing – June 24, 2020
Seating was limited at the Township Building. Members of the public had to wait in line at six foot intervals and were let into the building, three at a time, by an unmasked Police Chief Cope. Seats were spaced several feet apart from each other and numbered. Everyone wore a mask except for the police officers and the court reporter. Apart from the applicants, only sixteen or seventeen seats were available for the general public. I counted thirty-one people in the room.
The meeting was set up like a courtroom with four board members (Chairman Andrew Bohl, Mark Stewart, Keith Haverstock and William Whyte) with a court reporter who put Betty Parrish under oath. Three attorneys were present: Robert Rust, attorney for the applicants, Gary Asteak, attorney for the township and an attorney for JVI.
Betty Parrish presented exhibits (documents) detailing how the meeting had been requested and advertised. Following that the Chairman Bohl announced he had to recuse himself because someone in his law office is representing a property owner adjacent to the proposed warehouse site.
The Board announced that the hearing would be rescheduled with another solicitor for either July 13th or July 14th at 6:30PM at the Township Building. (It wasn’t clear if the hearing would be re-advertised). The Zoning Board will review resumes of other attorneys who applied for the Board.
Gary Asteak stated that UNT Supervisors will not select the solicitor, they will only vote to approve compensation.
A Gun Club Road resident announced that he objected to the warehouse.
I pointed out that UNT supervisors were scheduled to vote on this project at their July 1st meeting. Andrew Bohl said there would likely be an extension.
Two residents requested that the Hearing be held in a larger venue, such as a school or the hangar behind EMS. Andrew Bohl said that wasn’t possible because attendees have to be able to see and hear the witnesses. Zoom isn’t possible because the program can freeze.
Becky Bartlett covers these meetings because citizens have a right to know what their government is doing.