Monday, May 23, 2016

Stipulation by counsel to admit specific Intervenors in case of Citizens v. Eldred Twp Supervisors and Intervenor Gower Estates, LLC

Today, a hearing to hear argument over the request by numerous citizens to intervene was scheduled, but cancelled in the morning.  Later, counsel for landowner Gower and counsel for the Citizens who filed the original appeal entered a stipulation into the record that residents and owners of several land parcels Vernon and Marietta Barlieb be allowed to enter the case as Intervenors.  The prothonotary reported this event, but the court filing was unavailable as of this writing.  Thus it was impossible to determine the status of the remaining citizens who requested to intervene.  It is also unknown if today's hearing was caused to be unnecessary due to the stipulation or was cancelled for another reason.

The Barliebs live adjacent to the target tract and are part owners of several adjacent and nearby plots of land.  Notably some parcels contain natural springs that may be impacted by the Nestle water extraction.  Furthermore, the Barliebs had enjoyed uninterrupted access for decades to some of their landlocked parcels by traversing Sandy Hill Path across the Gower Estates property - a route that was blocked without notice by Nestle with installation of a production well.  Another land owner whose family has used Sandy Hill Path for decades to reach their landlocked parcel reports that they were also not notified of the closure.  Rumor has it that Mr. Barlieb has regularly ridden his donkey up the grade of Sandy Hill Path to reach his land.  At this point, his donkey would need rocket packs to leap over the huge pile of fill that blocks the road (which Nestle's engineer called a driveway at the zoning hearing board hearing last week).  Descending the road, Mr. Barlieb might find that a parachute attached to his ass comes in handy.

Donkey outfitted for one round trip up Sandy Hill Path

Mr. Barlieb, like everyone else within 0.5 miles of Nestle's wells, would be subject to onerous well head protection restrictions on what he can and can't do on his property - the vast majority of which is undeveloped.  If he wants to put a septic system in (or anyone else within 0.5 miles), he needs to apply for a special exception permit - more than $1000.

You can see that adding the Barbliebs as Intervenors buttresses the argument of harm - a required element to prevail.  It was already very good - this stipulation makes it even better.  The procedural argument should be easily won by the Appellants, and a recent development should make that stronger as well (more on this to be posted soon).  Today's action paves the way for this matter to proceed in an expedient manner, rather than getting bogged down.

The fact of the matter is all the intervenors who petitioned to intervene and anyone else who lives nearby are represented in this action at this point, and if some are not allowed to become parties on paper, their interests and rights are being fought for and protected.  The best thing is for the case to proceed to its logical conclusion as soon as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment