Northampton Press

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

E. Allen responds to plan for road grading

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Supervisors continue discussion on relocation of Seemsville Road

East Allen Township has returned a six-page response to a grading plan proposed by Allen Township for relocating Seemsville Road. Township Engineer James Milot reported the details at the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting Oct. 10.

“By definition, Allen Township does not need to go through a land development plan, but we are going to review the details as if this were a land development,” Solicitor Joseph Piperato said.

There are several outstanding issues, with emphasis on the detention pond area. According to the supervisors’ discussion, David Jaindl or his representative did address the township’s planning commission. Although not mentioned in the discussion, the developer’s final plan was scheduled for presentation to Allen Township Planning Commission Oct. 15. However, that presentation was postponed.

When that meeting is rescheduled, if the commission approves the plan, it still needs to be reviewed by the supervisors — proceedings that could take at least a month.

Seemsville Road is a state road, which means the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is in control of the standards and the right of way. The new Seemsville Road location is on land controlled by Northampton Area School District. No existing homes are disrupted with a relocation.

One of the clarifications requested by East Allen Township is the maintenance of a cul-de-sac at the end of the existing Seemsville Road. The existing road will be blocked from entering Route 329. Allen Township is said to have agreed to maintain the road, but there is no formalized agreement.

East Allen Township governs the property from the center line of Seemsville Road east. There are no residences or businesses on the east side of the road because it is school district property. The township does not collect any revenue from the property. Allen Township suggested that East Allen cede the property to Allen Township for a fee, but that idea has been denied.

Sarah DeRemer added her voice to the quest to reduce truck traffic on township roads. Some trucks take shortcuts on township roads, she said. DeRemer, who lives independently and home-schools her children, did not anticipate that East Allen would be in the midst of a national distribution center.

She also expressed her concern that chemicals used for grass and weed killers in the township were toxic. She suggested vinegar and salt as effective substitutes. Chairman Roger Unangst countered that the chemicals are biodegradable and deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DeRemer responded that the EPA is beholden to corporate giants.

The Monocacy Drive resurfacing project was discussed as well. In a prior meeting, residents complained of a gap between the roadway and their driveways. As township Engineer James Milot explained, there are no prefabricated curbs on Monocacy Drive. Driveways were broken out from a curb installed before the houses were built. Some driveways were paved into the street, which is causing some of the problem.

“Driveways need to be paved to the inside of the curb,” he said.

The rough breakout of driveway access made some situations difficult and the paved driveway extended into the roadway.

One homeowner has a 3-inch lip. The remaining are within tolerances. The township will seal the road at driveways to eliminate some of the variance. Driveways and curbs are the responsibility of homeowners.

The township’s first budget presentation projected revenues are to remain about the same at $2.4 million, and efforts will be made to reduce expenses.