Whitehall-Coplay Press

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Letter to the editor

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 by The Press in Opinion

Property use must conform to zoning

To the Editor:

As a farmer’s daughter and a local elected official, I am writing to you about the issues of warehouses, farmland preservation and zoning.

When properties are zoned, their use has to conform to the zoning. If some farmland is zoned that allows warehouses, then that is what can be built. If a township would try to change the zoning on that property to stop a proposed warehouse, the township could get sued and lose in court for what is called spot zoning — and the taxpayers would pay the bill.

Farmland preservation is fine as long as it is the farmer’s choice. If farmland is zoned A/R (agriculture or residential), the farmer has the right to decide to farm or build houses. Buying the building rights to a farm can be very expensive. If a township would try to change the zoning on A/R property to stop a proposed housing development, the township could get sued and lose in court for what is called spot zoning — and the taxpayers would pay the bill.

Township officials cannot just pick a spot and have it rezoned just to stop building plans. Years ago, some townships changed their residential areas to other types of zoning to avoid more housing developments. That opened the door to the other types of building.

It is very important to know where candidates stand when you elect them to the board of supervisors because the board appoints residents to the positions on the zoning board. It is even more important to volunteer to be on a committee and attend meetings.

Peggy Moser

East Allen Township

(Editor’s note: Moser is a member of the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors.)