Northampton Press

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

E. Allen answers Allen request Board seeks traffic route alternatives

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

At the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting Oct. 11, township Supervisor Deborah Seiple provided all supervisors with a copy of a letter she sent to Allen Township on proposed warehouse developments. The letter was precipitated by a request from Allen Township for comments on its comprehensive plan draft.

The main point made in the letter is that proposed warehouses will dramatically increase traffic on Routes 329 and 987.

The Allen Township proposals are added to the warehouse development suggested by Rockefeller Group, plus approved projects in East Allen. Officials of the township asked Allen Township to consider alternatives that could route traffic on roads other than Route 329. East Allen Township contends that cost for road improvements necessary to accommodate the increased truck traffic should be borne by the developers.

During the open forum, truck traffic was the subject of most comments. Joe Gotzon, of Colony Drive, complained that truckers ignore the truck ban on Colony Drive and use it as a shortcut.

“I chased one of them down, and he said he was part of a construction crew,” he said.

Tom Fox and Georgiann Hunsicker had similar comments. As Chairman Roger Unangst explained, options are limited.

“Without a local police force, the zoning officer is the only option,” he said.

The zoning officer can file a complaint, but there is no arrest or ticket.

Gotzon volunteered to record information. Unangst suggested obtaining the names of the freight companies whose drivers are using Colony Drive and draft a letter to the company. The residents’ public comments reinforced the points made by the township in its response to Allen Township.

Also at the meeting, township Engineer James Milot commented on watershed restrictions in the township. The township has two different lists of requirements for each of its two watersheds. Milot wants council to look at options on how to consolidate the requirements.

The approved Vertek warehouse project is located across both watersheds. A plan would be necessary to address the discrepancies before the project could be considered complete.

The Rockefeller warehouse hearing was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Northampton Area High School auditorium. Seiple informed the board that if the hearing is not complete at this meeting, the next available dates to continue the hearing are in January.

Seiple and her staff compiled a list comparing fees from surrounding municipalities to East Allen’s fee schedule. The list was requested by Supervisor Peggy Moser. Supervisors will review the information and discuss it at an upcoming workshop.