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No decision on Air Gas request in Plainfield Twp.

By Kris Rile, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Apr 17 2013 10:21:24 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2013 05:03:52 AM CDT

The proposed construction of a new facility where gas is shipped in and out has residents of one Northampton County township buzzing.

PLAINFIELD TWP., Pa. -

The Plainfield Township Zoning Board was unable to reach a final decision regarding a Special Exception Request from Air Gas USA, LLC for a proposed distribution facility within the Township.

Air Gas USA, LLC applied for the Special Exception Request from the Zoning Board for its proposed facility that will be located at 730 Bangor Road. Peter Cook, Director of Fleet Logistics for Air Gas USA, LLC, took the lead during the two hearings that the Zoning Board held in defense of the proposed facility.

The Zoning Board denied a request to send the Special Exception Request back to the Planning Commission due to various documentation issues. The Zoning Board denied the request because if the Board votes to approve the Special Exception, the request will automatically go back to the Planning Commission for final review.

According to documentation received by the Zoning Board at the previous hearing, the Township Planning Commission recommended approval of this Special Exception at the Zoning Board Hearing. However, Planning Commission Member Terry Klientop stated at the most recent hearing that the Planning Commission was told to make a decision regarding approval of the Special Exception not based on what will be stored at the proposed facility. Klientop also stated that the Planning Commission has not seen the site plan that the Zoning Board is currently deliberating.

“I do not agree with the statement that the facility is in great shape to move forward,” state Klientop.

Klientop also disagreed with the proposed eight-foot tall fence that will surround the property because the fence will not be high enough to hide any cylinders due to a five-foot drop off between the property and Route 191.

“The fence might as well not even be there,” commented Klientop.

The proposed fence proved to be a significant issue for community members as well as Klientop. Various residents surrounding the property in question commented on how the fence will drop their property values because of how it will look. The fence is expected to have privacy slats and barbwire on the top.

“I believe that the chain link fence and barbwire will make it look like a penitentiary,” commented community member Robert Mohr.

Cook mentioned that the barbwire can be removed from the proposed fence and certain aspects of the fence can be changed to meet public appeal. He also agreed to make the fence high enough to hide the cylinders, however high that needs to be.

After hours of discussion among audience members as well as the Zoning Board, a final decision was still not reached.

The Zoning Board will revisit this discussion on May 15th at 7 p.m. at the Township Municipal Building.