Monday, February 22, 2016

CJERP Regional Planning Committee to Consider Eldred Twp Water Extraction Amendment at its February 25th Meeting

Eldred Township residents should be aware that the water extraction amendment that will overturn the one passed in 2014 will be reviewed by the CJERP Regional Planning Committee at its Thursday, February 25, 2016 meeting at 7pm at the Chestnuthill Municipal Building, 271 Rt 715.  This won't affect Nestle's pending application, but will pertain to future applications.  The Eldred BOS will hold a meeting in March to review recommendations and take action on this amendment.

Review of Stunning List of Errors CJER and its Solicitor Made in 2014
CJER (its name in 2014) is the body which held the meeting on March 27, 2014 at which Planning Consultant Carson Helfrich stated he had the water extraction amendment in hand, and would move forward with it if authorized.  (1) Mr.Helfrich was not authorized by the Eldred supervisors, but moved forward with it anyway.  Strike one.

CJER had the following responsibilities, according to the CJER Intergovernmental Agreement:
  • (2) review amendments from the member townships
  • (3) review recommendations on member township amendments from the Monroe County Planning Commission
  • (4) review recommendations from the remaining CJER townships when one township submits an amendment
Furthermore, in the March through May 2014 period, (5) CJER Solicitor James Fareri was solely responsible for reviewing amendments, and (6) CJER had the responsibility to advertise amendments.

CJER cancelled its April 2014 meeting in its infinite wisdom, and there is no evidence any of the reviews of the amendment that it was charged with were done.  Strikes two through four.  

CJER met on May 1, and at this meeting after no discussion, the Eldred Supervisors voted to approve the amendment.  Mr. Fareri apparently did not catch the very clear land use change from industrial to light manufacturing of water extraction, or the fact that this change would make water extraction in Eldred different than the uniform definition in the other CJER townships.  Strike five.

The advertisement for Eldred Township water extraction amendment for the May 1 meeting, which was authorized by CJER and CJER Solicitor Fareri, was not authorized by Eldred Township.  Strike six.

All of the above happened on CJER's watch, yet to date they have taken zero responsibility.

Will CJREP and the Monroe County Planning Commission Play Ball, 
or Try to Cover their Asses by Recommending Against the Amendment?
It is suggested that Eldred Township residents may wish to attend Thursday evening's meeting, and see if CJERP (its current name) can do any better than it did in 2014.  The same key players are involved, from leadership to planner Matt Neeb to the solicitor.

Let's hope to see a discussion about how the new amendment actually is compatible with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, while the one that that CJER failed to review (thus effectively approving it) totally violated the Plan.  Or will CJER and the Monroe County Planning Commission refuse to admit the stunning errors made across the board in 2014, and try to cover their asses by stubbornly questioning Eldred's new amendment?

My Wish
I dearly hope that CJERP recommends against approval of the amendment.  Why?  Because it will reflect on CJERP and its solicitor (whose law firm is representing the interests of the owner of the land Nestle is leasing - no conflict of interest there), not Eldred Township's amendment.  Because of the primary goal of consistency, the only possible defense is that the other four townships agree and wish to change water extraction to a light manufacturing use.  Then the Monroe County Planning Commission will have to argue that water extraction is of light manufacturing intensity.  But it isn't - not with constant truck traffic of 40 ton+ vehicles.  That argument can't be won.  

If this happens, Eldred Supervisors will ignore this advice (remember these agencies are advisory) and pass the amendment, to undo the egregious errors made by the Monroe County Planning Commission, CJER, the CJER Solicitor, the Regional Planning Consultant, Eldred Township Supervisors, the Eldred Township Planning Commission Solicitor, and Eldred Township's Secretary Solt in 2014.  You just can not make this shit up.

Turn north on Rt 715 at the Wawa

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