THE HAWBAKER BARKEYVILLE ASPHALT
Chronological Timetable (starts
The provisions protecting Barkeyville and the surrounding communities from air pollution were stripped from the zoning ordinance by the Barkeyville Borough Council at the request of the Hawbaker Asphalt Corporation on September 4, 2007 despite massive public support for the air pollution protections. The Borough Council consisted of Leann Stearns, Wally Stearns, Warren Whetzel, Charles
McConnell and Alvin Patton. They had the full support of the mayor, Mary E. Rose. After amending the zoning ordinance, they issued another permit to Hawbaker, through their zoning officer William Walker of Oil City, PA. read more about this
6/19/07 Citizens appeal Zoning
Hearing Board decision at County Court level. Read
Stops Asphalt Development Again!
4/26/07: "There should have been
no need for court intervention if the requirements of the Code had
been followed by those in positions of responsibility. lf the stay
had been enforced, or if the land developer had heeded the stay,
it would not have suffered the losses which were alleged in the testimony
of D. Michael Hawbaker at the second hearing. Despite the extreme
importance of the development, the financial investment of the developer,
and the corresponding impact on the Petitioners which they have alleged
will result from the operation of the asphalt plant, the Zoning Hearing
Board did not set a date for its first hearing until April 11, 49
days after the appeal was filed. Then when they could not finish
the hearing that day, they set the continued hearing for May 3, 2007,
71 days after the appeal had been filed. The Code allows 60 days
in which to have a hearing. After May 3, 2007 they will have an additional
45 days to make their decision. Although they acted within the time
constraints of the Code, if a hearing had been held promptly and
a decision made promptly, there would have been no need for intervention
of this Court and the imposition of a restraining order. For the
foregoing reasons, this Court enters the following Read the Court Order
Court Stops Development At
4/11/07: "In the instant
case there is a blatant disregard of the requirements of the zoning
laws of this Commonwealth by the municipality and its officials.
They have failed in their duties so clearly set forth in Section
915.1 of The Code. The only logical and sensible interpretation of
said Section 915.1 is that when a citizen seeks redress from the
failure of a municipality to enforce the stay, that citizen shall
do so by petitioning the court of common pleas for a restraining
order in order to right the wrong that has been perpetrated on its
own citizens by that municipality." Read
the entire Restraining Order.
6/19/07 Citizens appeal Zoning Hearing Board decision at County
Court level. Read appeal.
5/24/07 (Franklin News Herald): Asphalt
plant gets go ahead - Barkeyville Zoning Hearing Board denies
citizens' appeal in split decision. Former Barkeyville Planning Commission
member and former Zoning Officer on the Hearing Board votes in favor
of appeal. Two women on the Board vote against the appeal. This
decision is appealed.
5/3/07: Second Barkeyville Borough Zoning Hearing Board hearing,
Barkeyville Church of God
4/26/07: Court issues ruling denying
Hawbaker's appeal. Restraining order is reinstated.
4/23/07: Court hearing before Judge Morgan to consider appeal presented
by Hawbaker's attorneys requesting restraining order to be dismissed
or bond be posted. Court
lifts restraining order effective Friday,
April 20th until this appeal is heard and decided. Judge promises
Borough Zoning Hearing Board hearing to
be continued May 3rd.
4/11/07: Hearing held in Barkeyville before the Zoning Hearing Board.
4/11/07: Court grants restraining order stopping asphalt facility
3/20/2007: Appeal Hearing is Granted by the
Barkeyville Borough, Pennsylvania Zoning Hearing Board for April 11, 2007, 7 pm, at the
Barkeyville Church of God, Route 8, Barkeyville. Read media coverage: News Herald: 3/21/07; 3/29/07
3/16/07: Hearing before Venango County Court of Common Pleas, visiting
Judge William Morgan presiding, from Warren County, 37th District.
The issue remained undecided and the Court issued a continuation
for 15 days. Read the newspaper coverage in News Herald - in Allied News.
3/12/07: Appellants' file Petition For Restraining Order with Venango
County Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division requesting, "all
land development by Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc., pursuant to and in
accordance with Zoning Permit No. 31-001-016-4 issued on December
31, 2006 by Barkeyville Borough Zoning Officer Gary T. Dovey to Glenn
O. Hawbaker, Inc., is STAYED during the pendency of the appeal filed
February 21, 2006 before the Barkeyville Borough Zoning Appeal Board." Read
3/9/07: Although the Borough Solicitor, Bogaty, cannot also legally
act as the Borough Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor, and the BZHB solicitor
on record, George Thompson, is also the attorney for Hawbaker and
the Oil Region Alliance, Bogaty mails a written statement to the
Appellants' attorney stating that the Appeal of 2/21/07 will neither
be heard nor will Hawbaker be ordered to cease development as required
by law, basing the decision on the fact that the Appeal was filed
more than 30 days after the permit was issued.
3/6/07: Two members of the Barkeyville Zoning Hearing Board
officially resign at the Borough Council meeting (see
news coverage of this meeting). Two new members and one alternate
are appointed by the Borough Council President, Leann Stearns. A
new Zoning Hearing Officer is also appointed in closed session, with
no public participation whatsoever.
3/2/07: Appellants demand that the
Hawbaker facility development be stayed as required by law. "Based
on the foregoing, we are respectfully requesting the Board to instruct
Hawbaker, its agent and/or contractors, to cease all further land
development activities pursuant to the challenged permit until
the applicants' appeal is heard and disposed of by the Board."
3/2/07: No action whatsoever is taken by the Barkeyville Borough
Zoning Hearing Board on the Appeal by this time.
2/21/07: A formal Notice
of Appeal was filed on February 21, 2007
with the Barkeyville Zoning Hearing Board, after the area citizens
researched the proposed asphalt facility and found out that it
would be a prohibited source
2/6/07: Barkeyville area citizens are informed at the Borough
Council Meeting that Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. was granted
a Zoning Permit on Sunday,
December 31, 2006, without public notice of any kind, to construct
a large, coal-fired asphalt plant in Barkeyville Borough.