DuBOIS — The Sandy Township Zoning Hearing Board met in special session Wednesday to select legal counsel for an upcoming hearing.
Though board members declined to comment on the purpose of the hearing, Treasure Lake Property Owners Association General Manager Shirley Elmore told the Courier Express via telephone that the TLPOA is appealing the township supervisors’ decision last month approving a request from Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. for a modification to an existing planned residential development in Treasure Lake for a proposed water filtration plant.
During the zoning board’s special meeting, member Walter Kosiba moved that the board continue to retain Kim Kesner as its primary legal counsel and retain Jim Dennison as the board’s secondary legal counsel. In the event that the primary counsel is not available, for whatever reason, the board can use the alternate legal counsel.
There was no discussion regarding the motion.
Board members, including Chairman Joe Bowser, Kosiba and Ted Lyons, approved the motion, effective Oct. 31.
Outside of the meeting, Bowser told the Courier Express that the board received a request for an upcoming hearing.
“Our normal solicitor has a conflict,” Bowser said. “We were faced with coming up with an alternate legal counsel. It’s a good thing in a way because it helps get us in a position where we have two people and we don’t have to go through the process of trying to find somebody.”
When asked what the upcoming hearing concerns, Bowser declined to comment.
“That’s still in the process ... working up a hearing date or whatever so there’s nothing on that,” Bowser said. “It’s just that we’re going to do it, going to get legal counsel so that we’re prepared because we know that we’ll have to do that.”
Township Zoning Officer Jim Keck said the hearing will be publicly advertised in the near future.
“We’ll know here shortly before the end of the year,” Keck said.
Elmore referred further questioning about the TLPOA appeal to attorney C.J. Zwick, who was unavailable Wednesday.
Aqua requested the modification to the Treasure Lake PRD to allow the consolidation of Lots 92, 94 and 95 in Section 7A to be approved and their use changed from residential to utility services, according to a previously published Courier Express article. Aqua proposes to construct a water treatment facility on the consolidated lots. The properties are located off Barbary Coast Court within the Treasure Lake PRD.
Aqua Pennsylvania is proposing an upgrade to the existing Well N23 treatment facility that serves the Treasure Lake residential community. The upgrade to the water system would accommodate the higher water production rates and updating of the water treatment system. It would include the construction of a 45’ by 63’ building that would house the water treatment system and related facilities and provide parking. The project would also include an 8-inch raw water main line with easements.
Proceedings began for the modification of the PRD at Treasure Lake at the request of Aqua in December of 2017. A public hearing was held in January and that was followed by a request by Aqua that the proceedings be stayed, meaning suspended for at least 100 days. The record was closed on Aug. 6 and the supervisors approved the modification request at their Oct. 1 meeting.
A number of residents voiced their opposition to the supervisors about the location of the proposed well station at the public hearing and at several township meetings.
The most vocal concerns were raised by Robert and Betsy Hooven, who live on Barbary Coast Court adjacent to where the proposed well station is to be built. Though they agree that the improvements are needed to improve water quality in Treasure Lake, they have contended that the proposed location “would have a devastating effect on property values of the homes” and urged the supervisors to stop Aqua from building the well station near their home.