Dorrance Steamlines Lot Consolidation

In a move consistent with residents’ requests, Dorrance officials amended their subdivision ordinance at the October 7th municipal meeting. The revision is intended to help property owners lower their tax bill.

Chairman Gary Zane, opened a public hearing on the ordinance at 6 pm where the amendment was read by Atty. Sean Logsdon, sitting in for Donald Karpowich.

Logsdon explained that the provision allows for an exemption from the full subdivision process when the property owner wants to combine contiguous lots into one parcel.

He said, “This has been reviewed by the Luzerne County planning commission,” and based on those comments some minor changes were made. The Dorrance Township planning commission also approved the amendment, which was duly advertised.

The ordinance requires the presentation of recorded deeds for each property to be combined; a legal description from a surveyor on the proposed parcel, and a new deed, containing that legal description and suitable for recording. Upon the approval from the township, the new deed shall be recorded at the courthouse with 90 days or the approval is revoked.

Previously when consolidating lots, a full survey was needed -along with review by many state and county agencies plus review fees.

Zoning Officer Alan Snelson said that the comments he’s received on the simplified reverse subdivision option have all been very favorable.

Vice Chairman Royce Engler said he supports the change, calling it “a good idea, it’s better than what we have now.”

Zane agreed, “A lot of municipalities around us have this. It saves people a lot of money.”

Snelson noted that the county reassessment resulted in higher per-lot taxes. Many residents have found that they realized a considerable tax reduction by consolidating several smaller lots into one.

Zane added that the plans will be limited to 10 acres.

The regular meeting convened and the board acted on the ordinance with

See Dorrance page 10