Update Regarding the Mount Haven Situation as Reported by the Zoning Officer to the Dingman Township Board of Supervisors on 7/17/18



In the July 3rd determination it was noted that Har Haven did not have a Pennsylvania Food Service License.  Har Haven provided a photocopy of both a 2017 and a 2018 license.  I contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.  The department representative confirmed that the license was valid and that the previous discussion with a department representative was in error.



The Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Mount Haven having expired on June 30, 2018 and Har Haven having been so informed on July 3, 2018, the Attorney for Har Haven, Anthony Waldron requested a meeting with the Zoning Officer to discuss the matter.

On July 10, 2018, a meeting was held with Attorney Waldron, representatives of Har Haven, the Township Solicitor, and the Zoning Officer to discuss the expiration of the temporary certificate and the ramifications of such expiration.

Har Haven has indicated that they intend to appeal the Zoning Officer’s determination to the Zoning Hearing Board. This is their right under state law. The request must be received by the Zoning Hearing Board Secretary no later than August 3, 2018. Should such an appeal be received, the hearing will be open to the public and testimony will be heard from all parties affected by the determination. Notice of the hearing will be published in the township’s newspaper of record. It will be posted on the Mount Haven property in areas viewable by the public and in other areas at the Zoning Officer’s discretion. It will also be announced at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

As guests were found on the property after notice of the Zoning Officer’s determination had been received by Har Haven such use of the property would be a violation of the zoning ordinance. State law requires that the Zoning Officer officially notify Har Haven of the violation, provide a reasonable amount of time to correct the violation, provide an example of how the violation may be corrected, and inform Har Haven of the right to appeal. An Enforcement Notice was prepared promptly after the July 10th meeting. The cited corrective action was to immediately close the property to guests and other non-employees. It is expected that Har Haven will also appeal this action to the Zoning Hearing Board with such appeal probably being held in conjunction with the appeal of the expiration of the Temporary Certificate of Use. Should Har Haven opt to appeal the enforcement notice, the hearing will be also be open to the public and advertised as previously noted. 

It is important that the following facts be considered:

  1. The determination not to grant Har Haven a Certificate of Use does not preclude Har Haven from future application for a Certificate.  As mentioned in the July 3rd determination, should Har Haven demonstrate that Mount Haven has come into compliance with the applicable state, county, and local laws, it may apply for a temporary Certificate of Use and upon demonstrating that they are operating the property as a proper resort, may apply for the full Certificate.


  1. The appeal of the Zoning Officer’s determination and/or the enforcement notice is heard before the Dingman Township Zoning Hearing Board. This is an independent body that does not answer to the Board of Supervisors. It is unlawful for any person to discuss the Har Haven cases with any member of the Zoning Hearing Board. Furthermore, any attempt to influence board members may be counter productive and provide a benefit to Har Haven.


  1. Both the Zoning Officer and Zoning Hearing Board work independent of the Board of Supervisors. As a party, the Board may disagree with the determination of the Zoning Officer and/or the Zoning Hearing Board and may initiate appellate action.


  1. While it may seem to some people that Har Haven is getting off easy, the Township is following the law as prescribed by the legislature.  The law’s emphasis is not on punishment, but to bring the property into compliance.

I expect Har Haven to work quickly to bring the property into compliance with the law and to be open lawfully before the end of August.  However, the matter has entered into the enforcement stage which limits what I may discuss with the public.