Clarks Green Borough Council approves plan for St. Gregory’s expansion

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal

CLARKS GREEN — At the July 18 borough council meeting, the council members approved the lot consolidation and land development plan needed for the expansion of St. Gregory’s Church. The lot consolidation will combine the lot adjacent to the southern border of the church property with the lot of Our Lady of Peace School. The council needs a recorded deed of easement from the Scranton Diocese supporting the documentation received by engineer Tony Bernardi and architect David Hemmler.

Attorney Al Weinschenk explained the need for the lot consolidation.

“In their proposed conditional use of land development, they (Bernardi and Hemmler) are changing the location of the driveway so that it overlapped the boundary lines between the two lots,” he said. “So, the recommendation requirement was that those two lots can be combined.”

Weinschenk also spoke about the conditional use approval.

“The conditional use is a use not permitted by right in the zoning district,” he said. “It’s conditional based upon review by borough planning commission and approved by borough council. The council can, if they feels it’s necessary, attach conditions to that approval and, because they’re expanding more than 25% of the existing conditional use, they’re required to obtain a conditional use approval.”

Weinschenk mentioned one of the conditions is that the proposed use of a proposed location should not result in an adverse effect on adjacent property. He said another condition is that the proposed use should not oppose the improvement facility utilities or other services in the borough.

“Reviewing the application, you should consider the site, the lighting, the signage, vehicle access, off-street parking, adequate pedestrian access, circulation, adequacy of stormwater drainage facilities and stormwater leaving the site shall not exceed pre-development levels, and facilities should be designed to accommodate a 10-year storm,” he said.

Weinschenk said these are the conditions applicable to the council’s consideration.

Councilman Joe Barrasse asked Bernardi what percentage of stormwater drainage will be reduced in Clarks Green now that the new drainage is going towards Waverly.

Bernardi replied it’s a 40% reduction.

Councilman Dave Rinaldi asked Bernardi if there will be 40% less stormwater discharged or just redirected towards the headwaters of Tunkhannock Creek as opposed to the headwaters of Leggetts Creek.

Bernardi replied, “There’s 40% less that’s being discharged into Clarks Green from the area that’s being controlled on the property, which is about an acre.”

Bernardi also clarified more water is going towards Tunkhannock Creek than was previously released into Leggetts Creek.

The council voted to authorize the issuance of the permit contingent upon a recorded deed of easement for the use of parking and drainage at Our Lady of Peace church.

In other business …

• Councilman Dave Rinaldi, in his health and safety report, announced the borough engineer Jerilyn Luben submitted plans of the Green Light Go Project, which includes emergency vehicle preemption (signaling a green light to incoming emergency vehicles) to PennDOT.

“PennDOT got back to her with five comments that she (Luben) has to take care of before the plan will be accepted,” he said. “I asked her about providing me with the listing of the equipment needed to be installed, so we could start putting together a bid package.”

Rinaldi also said Luben advised him to wait until the plans are approved. He said the plans will determine the equipment so they can advise the bids.

By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at