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New open space zoning allows more commercial use in Tobyhanna Township – WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

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POCONO PINES, Pa. — Tensions rose during an early morning meeting inside the Tobyhanna Township building on Monday.
Township supervisors approved a zoning ordinance that allows development in open space conservation districts.
“It’s like, ‘paved paradise and put up a parking lot,'” said Susan Bush of Tobyhanna Township.
Before the change, open space/resource conservation districts had three permitted uses: 
The new zoning definition allows for more commercial use for those who own a conversation district lot of at least 100 acres.
“The change to the zoning district sets a dangerous precedent for future changes for the special uses,” said Kim, a woman who lives in Tobyhanna Township.
One by one, Tobyhanna Township residents came out to voice their opinions, hoping to change the minds of the supervisors.
“There was a purpose for setting aside the conservation districts in Tobyhanna Township. It was to protect for future generations the delicate ecosystem we live in,” said resident Vickie Mebus.
“Leave well enough alone. Don’t tinker with these districts,” said Kim Williams of Tobyhanna Township.
“OS zoning laws will permanently alter this incredibly diverse landscape to literally pave the way for Kerrick or other developer projects. Your choices today will change the landscape and the way this mountain functions forever,” said township resident Samantha Lisk.
With the new zoning amendment, anyone can now develop on open space conservation land.
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