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Lower Mac Commissioners Accept Petition

Could the number of signatures be getting the BOC's attention?

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.

optimist October 21, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Wondering who will pay for the studies? Should it be perhaps Mr. Jaindl? Also, should studies have been done before the zoning ordinance was changed. Finally, how many studies need to be done to reach this conclusion: traffic will be much worse, The Little Lehigh will flood more, prime farmland will be lost, Our crowded schools will become more crowded, future taxes will be higher etc.
Friends for Protection LMT October 21, 2011 at 05:30 PM
Studies at this point are continuing to study the affects and not the root cause. A doctor can keep treating symptoms but eventually they will catch up to the patient. A fundamental change in philosophy is whats needed.
LMTnative October 21, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Be careful what you wish for. If Jaindl pays for the study he will select his own consultant who will present the results he wants and pays them to provide.
JOE H. UNGERER October 21, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Our community could use a good strip mall and a good sit down resturant.
Spadefoot Toad October 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Thank you Friends fPLMT for your persistence in getting the petition to the commissioners. Your neighbors in Longswamp Township appreciate your work! And Mr. Unger, you already have two strip malls. Have you tried the short ribs at Gio's? They're amazing. Why not support the businesses you already have in place instead of sacrificing more farm land to development?
optimist October 22, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Bravo!
Vince October 22, 2011 at 09:00 PM
I wish there was as much enthusiasm against the decision to close the Orchard Road Railroad crossing, as there is about this zoning change. The Orchard Road railroad crossing is scheduled to be closed, and its planned safety upgrade to be transferred to a new private railroad crossing on Quarry Road, which gains entrance to land owned by Jaindl. As one of the Commissioners said at one of their meetings, “This transfer of the planned safety upgrade to Quarry Road will make better use of this land”. Of course I’ll signed your petition.
Vince October 22, 2011 at 09:43 PM
You mentioned Flooding in your post, If you would have observed the storm water runoff ponds located south of the main line railroad tracks, between Gehman, Orchard and schoneck roads right after the past heavy rains and hurricane, you would have seen empty storm water run off ponds. These storm water retention ponds look nice with their white fences and green grass, but they never held back any water. As fast as the water entered these ponds, they exited through large pipes, and found its way into a nearby creek. I imagine Jaindl’s new development would have the same-engineered storm water run off retention ponds as the ones that I’ve mentioned.
ifgreen October 23, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I saw something once about an online petition, but have not been able to locate it again. I would sign! I'm sure a lot of us in Ancient Oaks close to Spring Creek would like the opportunity to sign the petition. Not only were the schools closed because of Spring Creek overflowing its banks, but add in the bridge closures around here and it was a major challenge to just get home at night.
optimist October 23, 2011 at 08:49 PM
Glad to help out: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/friendslmt/ - petition http://www.facebook.com/friendsLMT?ref=ts#!/friendsLMT - facebook page
Friends for Protection LMT October 24, 2011 at 01:41 PM
When signing the online petition we can only present signatures to the BOC that have a verified name and municipality. If you do not live in the township signatures still count but will be presented as non-residents. Those with no indication of municipality cannot be presented. Please remember to fill out your municipality!

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