Pennsy Supply Inc., the parent company of Slusser Bros., filed a brief Tuesday in Luzerne County Court charging the Dorrance Township Zoning Hearing Board erred in refusing the application to expand its Small Mountain Quarry.
The company had appealed in August the board’s July decision, but had not yet submitted its written arguments.
In the 38-page brief, the company argues the special exception it sought requires only that it meet the zoning ordinance’s standards. The company has no obligation to prove the expansion wouldn’t be a burden to adjacent property owners.
“Once you’ve proven that, the burden shifts to the objectors, or the neighbors,” said George Asimos, Pennsy’s attorney. “Our argument is that the objectors didn’t show any evidence that it would create a significant adverse effect.”
The brief also argues that none of the residents is an expert, and therefore, “their testimony was, at best, mere speculation.”
The brief notes the company has offered to build 30-foot berm around the facility and encase several noisy machines.
Several sections in the zoning ordinance cited by the board are not applicable, the brief argues. Also, the brief argues the state Mining Act regulates quarry expansions, not township regulations.
The brief asks that the court decide the issue instead of sending the application back to the township zoning board.