Northampton Press

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Allen board discusses sticking points in Jaindl plan

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 by Paul Cmil Special to The Press in Local News

Supervisors concerned about Howertown Road restriction, recreation fee

At Allen Township’s Board of Supervisors meeting July 9, supervisors reviewed the final plan proposal for JW Development’s warehouse project off Seemsville Road. The township’s planning commission recommended acceptance.

The project will have five warehouses in the first phase and a sixth in the second phase. The last warehouse is coordinated with the construction of a related project dubbed Liberty Commerce Center in Northampton Industrial Park. The complex is being developed by Liberty Property Trust.

JW Development has been through an extended plan development process, making numerous changes based on input from residents and supervisors.

The final concept has warehouses located along a new Seemsville Road that intersects with Route 329 at a signalized intersection about 650 feet east of the existing intersection. Old Seemsville Road will become an access road for residential use and no longer connects to Route 329. A new connector road directs traffic to the new Seemsville Road.

Other features in the proposed development include stormwater detention basins, upgrading the turning lanes at the Kopper Penny intersection and installing a 12-inch water main to serve residents of Mud Lane and East Allen Gardens.

There are still concerns expressed by supervisors.

Employees at the industrial park can access the park from Howertown Road. Trucks exiting the warehouse facility are not allowed to exit onto Howertown Road. The road is constructed to make it difficult for trucks to get to Howertown Road. As an added precaution, the developer proposed a mast arm across the road. The mast arm would strike the truck and alert the driver that he was on a restricted roadway.

Besides the potential to damage the truck, there is a liability that pieces of the arm may damage a passenger vehicle that is legitimately allowed on the road.

Jaindl proposed flashing lights to alert the truck driver as an alternative. Supervisor Gary Behler opposed the change. He maintained that the mechanical mast arm is the best means to prevent unauthorized use.

Another area of disagreement is Jaindl allocated 41 acres of green space in lieu of a $58,000 recreation fee. Supervisors want both the land and the money. The argument against the land is that it is swampy and would never be developed. To enhance the dedicated park land as an unimproved, native land would require an elevated walkway. Supervisor Dale Hassler would prefer the money instead.

Supervisors will vote on the final plan at the July 23 meeting. Check the township website, allentownship.org, for the location.