Ron Beitler, spokesperson for the , presented over 500 signatures to the Lower Macungie Board of Commissioners at its Oct. 20 meeting to stop the re-zoning of 600 acres of farmland.
They oppose the owned by David Jaindl, in which he plans to put homes, strip malls and warehouses. They also want the township to invalidate the zoning amendment passed in July 2010 that permits the construction.
Of the more than 500 signatures, Beitler said that 417 are residents of Lower Macungie Township, 12 are from Alburtis, 17 are from Macungie and the rest are from other areas. And this is just the “first batch” of signatures collected, Beitler said.
The signers from Lower Macungie were primarily from Millbrook Farms, Weilersville, Brookdale and East Texas.
“This is ongoing,” said Beitler. “We are going to keep doing this — getting signatures — and presenting them to this Board.”
Friends member Scott Bieber said the Jaindl land is close to where he was raised and he is very concerned about land that is “near and dear to my heart.”
“We are not a small group of objectors, as Jaindl’s attorney previously stated,” he said. “We have very many in the township who support us and that is the reason we went out and got these [signatures]. I think more than 500 people signing the petition proves that.”
Mark North, representing the , presented a recommendation to the commissioners that they “reconsider the ordinance and do so with the proper studies and evaluation.”
Their concerns deal with flooding issues throughout the development on the occasions the Little Lehigh Creek runs its banks. Millbrook Farms is downstream from the proposed development area and gets the “brunt of the flooding,” according to North.
The homeowners are fearful the Jaindl project could make matters worse in the future.
Commissioner Douglas Brown expressed concern.
“I want to see a study take place,” Brown insisted. He wants to know the potential impact, especially in the Millbrook Farms area, before the project can proceed.
Commissioner President Roger Reis also seemed interested.
“I haven’t looked at the petition, but it is always good to see items from the public presented to the board instead of just hearing, for example, ‘We have 500 signatures.’ It’s always good to hear the public’s concerns. I will look over the petition before the next meeting" Reis said.