Northampton Press

Thursday, February 20, 2020

2nd property in Lehigh will be taken by eminent domain

Thursday, May 26, 2016 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

Although the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors hoped to acquire land needed to improve the intersection at Cherryville without turning to eminent domain, a second property must be taken that way, supervisors learned at the May 10 meeting.

In both instances, supervisors said the landowners were not averse to selling the land needed.

The Elsie Miller subdivision is a 4.8-acre property at Cottonwood Road and Cedar Drive and will be divided into 3.8 acres and one acre. The large portion is for a single-family home, and the one acre goes with a dwelling in place.

A high-tension line with a 100-foot easement needs a 50-foot setback.

There was disagreement about whether the setback is from the easement or from the actual physical facility.

A motion was made and approved to give final conditional approval subject to a letter from the engineer and planning commission — with an exception that supervisors do not believe the dwelling has to be moved.

A question was asked about the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, which may have expired. The issue was tabled.

Engineer Phil Malitsch said credit was taken for in-place ground cover around the maintenance building site. Less earthwork will need to be done.

The NPDES application submission was scheduled to be made a few days after the meeting.

Changes in the recreation resolution were made to include a young team that splits a soccer field for multiple games. The charge is $50 per field, and although three games are being played, it does not change the definition of field.

More leverage was given to the recreation commission for people who come and ask to use the fields.

In other news, when a property is filled with trash, a complainant may allow the zoning officer to go on the complainant’s property to be able to see and/or take a photo of the home that is being complained about, according to proposed amendments to the nuisance ordinance.

A draft is being advertised.

Police Chief Scott Fogel has 16 applications for the officer position and hopes to have 40 by mid-June. The position is advertised on Monster.com.

Truck weights have been coming down drastically since there has been stronger enforcement, Fogel said. Some roads have “no trucks” signs posted. In other township news, Manager Alice Rehrig said when she checked on the Penn-East Pipeline being moved down the mountain, she was told it was for the workers’ safety.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has not approved the pipeline.

Backenstoe said supervisors have taken as tough a position as they can on the issue. If the federal government gives PennEast the right, the township cannot stop them. The state Department of Environmental Protection may be able to, however. Rehrig will check with that department about what is being done.

Backenstoe said people are hooking up illegally to the sewer lines and turning storm water into the system.

A contact list for small businesses is being considered.

Fogel said even if only a small percentage responds, it will be a help to firemen and police. Supervisor Darryl Snover said there should be a fee only if people don’t reply. Fogel said two or three contacts would be better, and fire Chief Rick Hildebrand said the company does not know about many of the small businesses.

Supervisor Cindy Miller said when she ran for the job of state representative, people spread the word she had raised taxes in the township. Miller said the only raise she voted for was 0.2 mills that went for unfunded mandates, equipment and capital improvements. She will never vote to raise taxes again, Miller said.