County Planning Commission Discusses Courthouse
SHOHOLA — Pike County Planning Commission formally discussed the newly unveiled Land Development Plan for Pike County’s proposed Courthouse and Courthouse Annex projects in Milford Borough. Pike County commissioners Rich Caridi, Karl Wagner, and Matt Osterberg fielded questions at Monday’s regular commission meeting, held at the Pike County Community Planning Dept. on Route 6 in Shohola. Caridi is commissioner representative to the Commission.
The county submitted the Land Development (LD) Plan to Milford Borough Planning Commission for approval for the courthouse complex that includes a Sewage Module plan. Pike County Community Planning Dept. and Pike County Planning Commission are required by Pennsylvania law to discuss, review, and advise the municipality on all Land Development plans.
Planning Commission member Steve Vitale asked whether the county still needed zoning variances (for Annex height, Courthouse Square lot coverage, and front, rear, and side setbacks) from Milford Zoning Hearing Board. Commissioners noted that a closer review of the Borough Zoning Ordinance and Borough Land Development Ordinance appears to indicate that the current county Land Development Plan can meet the Borough Zoning Ordinance requirement without variances from Milford Borough Zoning Hearing Board.
Previously, the county architectural engineers, McGoey, Hauser, and Edsall (MHE), told Milford Borough Council that the county would need variances. The county subsequently tweaked their plan to meet Borough ordinances to avoid variance submissions. Caridi said that the LD plan requires an agreement with the Borough for a lot (now part of the public park) in front of the courthouse. The lot is adjacent to the Kenworthey Building lot.
Caridi noted that the County is in discussion with the Borough to acquire that lot and that the Borough appears to be amenable to selling it. Osterberg said that the County has maintained that lot for 200 years and Caridi said that there is no formal recorded deed for that lot. Given the historic County role in maintaining the lot, the County could acquire it by invoking Eminent Domain law (authorizing taking ownership), according to Caridi.. for complete story, get this week's issue.