Northampton Press

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Supervisors review Hilltop Center requests

Thursday, November 19, 2015 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

Lehigh Township supervisors discussed the ordinance changes requested by David Jaindl for the Hilltop Center and the progress being made by Cherryville Development Partners at the Oct. 27 meeting.

Solicitor David Backenstoe listed things he saw in Jaindl’s request and thought they should be listed in the subdivision and land development ordinance rather than in zoning and the opposite way. He saw the requests leading to a planned residential community.

The Subdivision And Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) provides the layout of the plan, such as natural features (steep slopes) and zoning, and gives more latitude to the township engineer in determining if a use is permitted in an area.

Backenstoe said Jaindl’s attorney, Joseph Zahner, was in agreement with the changes suggested.

Supervisor Darryl Snover asked why they had not heard from the planning commission. It will go back to them with the changes.

Engineer Phil Malitsch said with more things put in SALDO, the board has more latitude. To go back into zoning, things would have to be reworded, he said.

Residential age-qualified uses have provisions in both zoning and SALDO. Density would be a matter for just zoning, whereas the aesthetic point of view, such as building footprints, would fit into SALDO.

The third change that Jaindl requested would be the stormwater maintenance ordinance, which was not discussed.

In addition to sending the reworded ordinances to the planning commission, they will go to neighboring municipalities, the school board and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

The planners could also bring up things they consider important and suggest them.

Attorney Jim Preston said the township should soon have a plan with the desired changes for the Cherryville Development Partnership (Turkey Hill). It has already received preliminary conditional approval.

Its engineer is working on final issues, including the steps necessary for a highway occupancy permit. However, one property is still needed for road improvements, and the owner will not even discuss it with them, Preston said.

Blue Mountain Drive and Route 248 are both state roads and cross at the intersection. Left turns are to be added, which is why additional land is required.

Supervisor Cindy Miller said there are already a lot of issues at that intersection and that the development will make it worse.

Malitsch asked Preston about a timeline.

Preston replied that if the highway permit is received, construction will begin in the spring.

Backenstoe said as soon as the paperwork is done, the project can move along quickly.