It's been four months since Farmington Township originally expressed a desire to jump ship and leave county zoning.
Now it's time to sit down and talk about it.
The Warren County Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 at the Lander Fire Hall to "consider, obtain comments, and take action" on the supervisors' "petition to remove Farmington Township, Warren County, from the Warren County Zoning Ordinance of 1965 and to amend the Warren County Zoning map of 1969 by eliminating the zoning districts within the boundaries of the Township of Farmington, Warren County," according to a legal notice published in the Times Observer on Friday.
Asked whether the commissioners could vote to let the township go the night of the meeting, Commissioner Chairman Stephen Vanco said, "We have that option. We also have the option based upon the information presented that night...to announce a date by which that decision will be made.
"We're just following it step by step," he added, explaining that the commissioners sent a letter to the Farmington Township supervisors and have since received a response from their solicitor.
In that letter, dated Aug. 8 and obtained by the Times Observer on Friday, is a petition from Timothy Wachter, solicitor representing Farmington Township.
The petition states, "The board of Supervisors of Farmington Township have determined that it is in the best interest of the Township and its citizens to withdraw from the Warren County Zoning Ordinance."
The supervisors took action at their meeting on Aug. 7 and "approved the submission of a Petition to the Warren County Board of Commissioners to remove Farmington Township from the Warren County Zoning Ordinance."
A letter from the Farmington Township Supervisors dated May 1 requesting removal from the county zoning ordinance was presented to the county commissioners at a public meeting on May 23. In the letter, the supervisors wrote, "The current board of supervisors questions the validity of our participation, and our own research is unable to verify any action by Farmington Township which would substantiate our relinquishing planning and zoning activities to the county."
Since then, the Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission at its June meeting recommended that the commissioners not allow the "secession" of Farmington Township from the zoning ordinance.
The zoning ordinance currently does not include municipalities that have no zoning, such as Brokenstraw and Pittsfield townships or those who zone themselves, such as the City of Warren and Youngsville Borough.
Because the township did not express a desire to enact its own zoning regulations, the commissioners must approve the move. If the township went through the necessary steps to handle zoning itself, its ordinance would automatically supersede the county ordinance under Pennsylvania law.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to come a reasonable conclusion," Vanco said.