On the agenda for tonight's 7pm BOC meeting is the Jaindl subdivision proposal of over 600 acres of farmland. It involves 4 million sq ft. of warehousing/industrialbuildings, 692 residential units and 443,000 sq ft. of commercial construction.
The 82-page, 4x3-foot subdivision plan is a physically massive document. Though many plans are presented in this fashion, none I've seen are physically as large or more troubling in terms of it's content. No plan in township history comes anywhere close to the sheer magnitude of this one. It's easily the largest most fundamentally game-changing in Lower Macungie Township's history.
Possible outcomes of tonight's meeting:
1. BOC could decide to hold more meetings on the plan or
2. BOC could immediately vote on the proposal continuing to ram this through while the issue still remains in court.
There are questions the township needs to answer before moving this forward that warrant more consideration:
- Jaindl may be paying for infrastructure needed to get the plan built, but when it's handed over to the township, how will we then pay for ongoing maintenance? Future upgrades? Inevitable intersection failures outside of the immediate vicinity, but directly related to the development? (Willow and Rt. 100)?
- Warehouse truck traffic is already "where it wasn't planned to be." Fact: We see tractor trailers on our local roads every day, seven days a week 24 hours a day. And it's getting worse. Ten minutes ago I heard a truck barrelling up Willow Lane at 11pm. We hear lip service such as "well the trucks are projected to take this road/that road but not YOUR road." As we clearly see with our own eyes that isn't true.
- 700 new homes - Impact on the EPSD. New Schoool = $130 million. Who pays?
- Uncertainty of the Sauerkraut Lane Extension. (Norfolk Rail Crossing) Without this access it leaves only Spring Creek and Alburtis. Remember the detour Alburtis? Kinda like that. But forever this time.
- The highly documented Spring Creek bridge "dam effect" has the potential to cause major damage to property along Mertztown Road. Jaindl talks about his rights. What about the owners' rights? I've met many of them. They aren't millionaire developers. They are people dealing with the life-altering consequences of this possible development.
The ordinance still very much remains in court. After Jaindl's initial victory, shockingly, our elected BOC appealed. What happens now? If the community prevails and the court upholds the ruling, the ordinance will become invalid. If it's kicked back down, the court can be asked to rule on even more damning contract zoning and failure to amend the SW Lehigh Comprehensive plan charges. It's clear Jaindl with the BOC in lockstep are clearly ready to roll the dice.
The commissioners claim the agreement that led to this terrible option was to avert a quarry. I do not believe that a quarry anywhere close what was proposed would ever have been built.
Are you interested in staying informed with the latest land development and Smart Growth news and information? Subscribe to our newsletter