Letter to the Editor

Fears Negative Impact on Forests, Wildlife, & Watersheds From Zoning Change

APR 29 2022

To the Editor:

Regarding Tobyhanna Supervisors Set To Permit Commercial Resort Development In Conservation Districts

The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau describes the region as an area that “is home to rolling mountain terrain, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, thriving woodlands, and 170 miles of winding rivers.” Their website features numerous photos and videos of the green forests, the sparkling lakes, and the breathtaking views.

These are the features that attracted our family to Tobyhanna Township over thirty years ago. Of course, times have changed. While we appreciate the convenience of the additional stores and the need for thriving commercial business some changes negatively impact our house values and reduce the number of natural assets we came here to enjoy. The proposed “Kerrick Amendment” will have a negative impact on the forests, wildlife, and watersheds in our area.

Open Space/Resource Conservation Districts are designed to protect fragile environmental and unique natural areas from development. They are residential districts requiring a 10-acre minimum. This amendment proposes high-density buildings and resort amenities suitable for a commercial district – the opposite of the original OS designation.

This sweeping amendment also appears to remove the opportunity for future township supervisors and zoning boards to carefully consider each proposed project against the original intention for this land.

We are also deeply concerned about the process followed to adopt this amendment, including the publication of the meeting notice on Easter Sunday, not addressing all of the Monroe County concerns, and holding the final meeting and vote at an irregular time which will undoubtedly impact the number of attendees at the meeting.

Moreover, as a seasonal resident in Lake Naomi for 35 years, we have paid an extraordinarily disproportionately high amount of taxes and have limited visibility of the deliberations of the Township that may have a very significant impact on the value of our property. In addition, we currently have no vote on the supervisors so we are subject to taxation without representation, which has an historical significance in our country.

We strongly encourage the supervisors to hold a full and open in-person and virtual meeting to address all of the property owners’ concerns at a time that allows the most people to participate.

Anna McAleer
Pocono Pines

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