Decisions by zoning hearing boards in neighboring municipalities will allow establishment of a new cemetery and permit an owner to keep a driving horse on a residentially-zoned property.
On Tuesday, April 9, Providence Township's zoning hearing board voted to permit Elam J. Esch to establish a cemetery at 111 Pennsy Rd.
On Monday, March 25, Quarryville Borough's board agreed to allow a driving horse on a residential property on W. State St.
Both votes were unanimous.
The Quarryville decision is the first time the borough has given permission for an Amish resident to have a driving horse kept in a residential neighborhood.
The borough's zoning ordinance does allow horses to be kept on properties in the commercial and industrial districts.
The board's approval of a variance includes provisions the property owner must meet, borough manager Ken Work said.
"The compost area has to be enclosed and under roof. Any compost not used on the property has to be hauled away by a licensed hauler," he said.
The variance allows just one driving horse and one carriage. It does not allow any other animals except those allowed by ordinance in residential zones.
The property's owner, Charlotte Costa, had applied for the variance for 343 W. State St. She said the property is being sold to a member of the Old Order Amish faith.
Two weeks later, Providence Township's zoning hearing board agreed to the establishment of an Amish cemetery, zoning officer Heidi Martinez said.
The cemetery will be 150 feet by 150 feet and will be fenced, Martinez said. The new cemetery will take up about 10 acres of ground.
"It's in the agricultural district and they needed a variance because there has to be at least 52 acres for new principal use," she said. "Cemeteries are permitted by special exception."
This will be the first Amish cemetery in Providence Township.
Drumore, East Drumore, and Little Britain townships each have at least one Amish cemetery and Bart Township has two Amish cemeteries.