Northampton Press

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Planners approve Willow Brook project

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by JAMES BUNTING Special to The Press in Local News

Groundbreaking for new housing development is delayed until spring

Representatives from the Willow Brook Farm Trust received conditional approval from the Northampton Borough Planning Commission for development plans that will span Northampton and North Catasauqua boroughs and Allen Township.

The planning commission’s approval comes a month after Northampton Borough Council offered unanimous support at its Dec. 7, 2017, meeting. Northampton is the first of the three communities to have both the borough council and planning commission conditionally approve the trust’s final development plans.

At the Jan. 10 planning commission meeting, borough Engineer David Lear and Fuller Family representative Robert Dwyer reviewed a list of outstanding conditions with planning commission members.

A homeowners association has not been chosen for the property, but when one is, it will be responsible for all sewer repairs in the community.

Lear reviewed the plans with the borough’s fire and EMS departments to ensure the street and sidewalk dimensions would accommodate emergency vehicles.

According to the developer’s traffic study, a left-hand turning lane being added to Howertown Road will not be necessary in the initial plans. If future development is approved and more lots are added, another traffic count will be done to determine if the turning lane should be added at Willow Drive or Fuller Drive.

Eleven of the proposed 163 lots will fall in Northampton, with the remaining homes residing in North Catasauqua.

Although the developer originally planned to break ground this month, Dwyer said delays with Lehigh Valley Planning Commission have pushed the target date to April.

“I’m still looking at probably three to four months away,” Dwyer said. “I’ve always talked about the first quarter, but it looks like now it might be the second quarter because of the delays we’ve had.”

Dwyer will be attending the North Catasauqua Planning Committee meeting Jan. 31, with hopes of securing borough council approval in February.