PALMYRA TWP. (Wayne) - A conditional use hearing has been set for the revised plans for Harmony in the Woods, an outdoor music venue in the woods off Route 6/ Welwood Avenue, just beyond the Hawley Borough line.

PALMYRA TWP. (Wayne) - A conditional use hearing has been set for the revised plans for Harmony in the Woods, an outdoor music venue in the woods off Route 6/ Welwood Avenue, just beyond the Hawley Borough line.
Palmyra Township supervisors, August 7, set the hearing for 6 p.m., Tuesday, September 3, a half hour before their regular monthly meeting. They decided this will be a whole new application, as it substantially changes a previously approved plan for a building, to an open amphitheater with a “clam shell” stage.
The project has been submitted by Henry Skier, who had initiated the highly successful Wildflower Music Festival at the Dorflinger-Suydam Sanctuary in White Mills, in 1983. Skier, who is also the president/CEO of AMSkier Insurance, started another concert organization, Harmony Presents, at the Hawley Silk Mill in 2011. The popular series ran for six years, when in 2017, the location at the Silk Mill was needed for other functions.
That year, Skier proposed moving the concerts to his 14-acre wooded property located between the North of the Border fireworks store and Pines Tavern.
Attorney Anthony Waldron, representing the applicant, said the location and layout will be the same, but parking will be more concentrated down by the entrance at the highway.
“The idea will be to phase it in because of the idea of putting in the amphitheater ideally for next summer, possibly, and doing the building in the subsequent year or years,” he said.
In January 2018, the Township approved a conditional use request for the project which included an enclosed building. This required adopting a zoning classification for a theater for the performing arts. The definition for a theater as written called for “a building, or part thereof.”
Waldron said that the “building” as proposed now is a stage with an overhang to keep rain off the performers, but will not be completely walled in.
Zoning Officer Paul Natale said that the Planning Commission advised keeping nine of the 10 original conditions. The one condition to be discarded is the buffer of evergreens, since they wouldn’t grow there and the developer isn’t clearing the property in the same way.
“We added four other potential conditions,” Natale added, which he did not describe.
Waldron affirmed that it made sense to consider this a new application, but will refer to the original plan. Township Solicitor Jeffrey Treat agreed; “Because it is substantially different in some respects.” He said more questions may be brought up at the hearing over the modified plan.
The Planning Commission recommended that the neighbors be notified (by mail) of the hearing; Treat said this would apply to only adjoining property owners. The hearing will also be advertised in the newspaper, to reach the public at large that may wish to attend and provide comments.
Natalie said that because it is an open amphitheater, noise could be an issue. He said he was told at Dorflinger that some of the concert music at Wildflower Music Festival can be heard as far as Highland Field.
The nearest homeowners to Harmony in the Woods live on Woodland Avenue in Hawley.
Palmyra Township (Wayne) supervisors normally meet on the first Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Township offices on Oak Street, Marble Hill. The next meeting is on Tuesday, September 3 at 6:30 p.m., due to the Labor Day holiday.