New Castle News

August 16, 2013

Zoning official decides without having answers

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

On July 2, city zoning board member Pat Schwoeble voted to approve a shredder to be located near the downtown area.

In her July 19 letter to the editor, she said, “Will the new company on Moravia Street cause more noise than companies in the past? I don’t know. Will the company cause more air pollution than companies in the past? I don’t know. Will the operation generate more noise than the trains? I don’t know.”

As a zoning board member why didn’t she ask those questions at the hearing? How could she be accountable to our community if she voted “yes” when not knowing these answers?

Being accountable as a zoning official is her responsibility to decide on whether or not to grant a variance. Instead, she based her decision on the approximately 10 to 30 jobs the developer has promised.

The zoning ordinance states: “The Zoning Hearing Board, upon appeal, shall have the power to authorize variances from the provisions of this zoning ordinance provided that all of the findings are made where relevant in a given case: (4) That the variance, if authorized ... nor be detrimental to the public welfare.”

The scrapyard/shredding site is located in a flood plain. It states, that the granting of the variance will:

1. Neither result in an unacceptable or prohibited increase in flood heights, additional threats to public safety or extraordinary public expense.

2. Not create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimize the public, or conflict with any other applicable state or local ordinances and regulations.

During the hearing, all permits by the states were not obtained. She is required to base her decision on this criteria and not on a few jobs. Schwoeble needs to do her homework, and if she cannot, she should resign.

Louis Sorbo

West Miller Street

New Castle