Northampton Press

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lehigh supervisors, residents discuss Northwoods extension

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

During the April 24 meeting of Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors, Northwoods developers requested a plan extension until July 31. The vote waited until public comments from people in the audience living in the area of Butternut Drive were heard.

Ruth Heffelfinger said they were getting letters from Lehigh Valley Planning Commission that did not address concerns about runoff.

The plan is 14 years old.

Dave Lear, with Lehigh Engineering, said the company should have kept up on the work with Northwoods, but instead it was left to ride. He also said the problem was mainly one of communications. He offered to meet with Heffelfinger after the meeting at his office or at her home.

Solicitor David Backenstoe said approval would be withheld until all residents were satisfied with the plan. Heffelfinger said she never signed anything. Backenstoe said work could be done on people’s property, but they should receive a letter beforehand.

Supervisor Darryl Snover said, after 14 years, they are looking for documentation that doesn’t exist for work that wasn’t done. The township needs approval from Hanover Engineering that all conditions are met.

Snover asked Lear what Lehigh Engineering and Northwoods have been doing for 14 years.

Required is approval from the Conservation District and the state for an National Pollution Discharge Elimination District permit and water agreements with Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

A Jan. 22, 2018, letter included 33 pages of an attached township planning commission letter.

Supervisor Cindy Miller said there were many conditions in a letter from the planners and that she was disappointed it was approved to move forward when it got conditional approval.

Snover said supervisors wanted a clean plan before it came back to them.

Backenstoe said they had to deny the plan or allow the extension.

Lear said Northwoods would agree to fix the water problem at Heritage Village.

Supervisor Phil Gogel said if you have a severe problem now but don’t just want to shut it down, you must meet and resolve the water concerns.

Backenstoe said it should be kept on the agenda every two weeks. Miller said if it is denied and a new plan starts over, it will be required to meet new ordinances.