Hearing Over Controversial Church Retreat Proposal Rescheduled to Accommodate Large Turnout

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP -- A church's request to turn the Pocono Dome in Monroe County into a retreat is drawing so much public outcry, a hearing on that proposal had to be rescheduled due to the heavy turnout.

The Hamilton Township Zoning Board is moving that hearing to a larger building to accommodate the crowd.

Tuesday's public hearing on the controversial zoning request ended before it started. The Hamilton Township Zoning Board immediately postponed the hearing after so many people showed up that some were stuck outside.

“You know, people are going to turn out for something like this,” said one resident.

Now, that hearing will be held in a larger building so more people can attend.

“Given the amount of interest in the case to seek a venue that affords more persons in the township to attend,” said Karl Dickl, the zoning board chairperson.

“My impression is that they're accommodating people that want to be heard, and I think that that's a good thing,” said resident Kim Kryman.

Concerns were raised after a Korean-based church called World Mission Society Church of God asked the zoning board to issue a special permit so the church can convert the Pocono Dome near Sciota into a retreat for it members.

The dome, now owned by Wayne Bank, was used as an indoor sports complex in the past.

Neighbors say they don't want this retreat and packed into the hearing to voice their outcry to officials.

Now, they expect to have a chance to do so at the rescheduled hearing.

“There's really no benefit to the community at all. We lose the tax base. The area is already congested,” said resident Frank Calafiore. “And now they talk about a church that has thousands of members and that's going to be a retreat. It will just overwhelm the area.”

“A lot of traffic, plus if it's a church, that's tax exempt, so who pays for all the road repairs with all the impact to the community, so we're extremely concerned,” said resident Mary Eaton.

“We're also concerned about the water, the sewage. We don't know how many people are going to be there at one time. Is it going to be a weekly thing, monthly, yearly, daily?” said Kenneth Holley.

The new public hearing on the church's application for a special zoning permit will be on May 9 at 4:30 p.m. at the Monroe County Public Safety Center near Snydersville.

6 comments

  • Miso Honey

    I’d rather see the slow minded locals pack up and move to some place like West Virginia. Where they belong. Trashy white people are disgusting.

  • OMG, another one

    Just like Scranton its the University..WE need to stop these tax exempt places from going up and coming in. The community needs business, and taxes from that business. Look at all the money Scranton would get it the University actually paid taxes on the properties it owns..and trust me, its many many acres of land it sits on. Korean, sorry but we don’t need a Korean church of God. WE don’t need another church, or hotel or gas station..we need tax paying places

  • Mr_Jangles

    If it was a Catholic Church retreat proposed by the local diocese and composed of mostly white people, no one would complain.

    • No

      Sorry Mouse but we don’t need another Catholic, Christian anything around here. We need ZERO places of “worship”, “praise”, “solitude”..whatever you call it. Use the place and make a Rec Center for Kids to go to.. play sports, have fun..make it a place for after school. Hold Community Plays and Dances, sporting events and other stuff there. Make it something where THE ENTIRE community can come together and use..TOGETHER!!
      Namaste!!

      • Marie Stoves

        The idea of using it for many purposes is a sound one. It could be ,perhaps, rented to organizations for special programs. When it is not being rented it could be used as a safe and secure location for the local residents to enjoy. The rental fees would cover taxes and maintenance with some left over. Businesses, churches, etc, could rent it out for special events. This could be a compromise that all could benefit from.

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