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Man wants zoning board to hear his appeal

A Pennsylvania zoning board is refusing to hear a local resident's appeal of the board's decision to allow construction of a gas station, convenience store, retail complex and high-rise residential building.

In the real estate dispute, the man objects to a recently enacted zoning ruling because he wants his township to remain quaint and not overdeveloped. He wanted to give reasons to the board why construction should not go on but was not allowed to present his evidence.

Instead, the zoning board told the man he'd have to challenge the law in court.

The dispute stems from the approval of what is called an overlay district. The new district will allow construction of a convenience shop and gas station, on William Penn Highway, as well as a retail complex and high-rise housing development.

The man challenging the development said the zoning laws were enacted only to allow those two projects to go forward because the zoning board looked favorably at them.

The president of the zoning board said the man has not shown how the new projects would adversely impact his. Additionally, he said the man merely just doesn't like the new law. The board ruled that the man had no legal standing in this case and must appeal through the court system.

The man's attorney said his client has the right to challenge the overlay district. He said the zoning law clearly was enacted at the request of a developer and that zoning boards pull strings to find a way to make things happen the way they want them to.

The man has not yet said whether he intends to fight the zoning board ruling.

Source: The Morning Call, "Bethlehem Township zoners refuse to hear Atiyeh's latest beef," Charles Malinchak, Nov. 29, 2012

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