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Lower Macungie Zoning Hearing Board Dismisses Case Against Jaindl Plans

Two-man board determines residents had proper notice of change to zoning ordinance that would permit major development.

 

The Lower Macungie Township Zoning Hearing Board tonight dismissed the complaints of residents who are trying to preserve more than 600 acres of farmland from a major development by Jaindl Land Co. 

Attorneys for David Jaindl and the township asked the zoning hearing board to which hinges on whether residents had adequate notice before the township passed changes to the zoning ordinance that would enable Jaindl to go ahead with his plans.  

Tonight’s decision by the two-man zoning hearing board, William Royer and Brian Higgins, was not unexpected.  Friends for the Protection of Lower Macungie posted on the group’s Facebook page Sunday that the residents didn’t expect to win at the zoning hearing board. The post said that the “real is in the court system where the appellants claim there were ‘procedural’ defects in the way the township created the Jaindl zoning ordinance.” 

Lower Macungie Patch will have the full story on the meeting Wednesday.  

Howard R.Bachman,Jr. November 30, 2011 at 04:05 PM
When are the Jaindl's going stop rapping the farm lands and putting houses all over the farm lands needed for farming our own crops-enough is enough !!!
chad November 30, 2011 at 04:54 PM
We may not like what Jaindl does with his land but, it his land to use however he wants. No one is fighting you every step of the way when you do something to your land. Why should Jaindl be any different?
Friends for Protection LMT November 30, 2011 at 05:07 PM
You are absolutely correct Chad. Friends has members ranging from the ultra conservative (tea party) to "tree huggers".... One thing we all agree upon is a landowners rights to do whatever he/she pleases with his/her land WITHIN the scope of zoning laws. Mr. Jaindl purchased this land knowing of an agricultural preservation ordinance that was then in affect 2 decades. Herein lies the problem, Chad. This is not a landowners rights issue. That is unless you think private developers should rule over a municipalities zoning code changing it at will to suit his/her pocketbook at the detriment of the community. And if you don't think this will have negative impacts, well then I invite you to move to Fogelsville where Mr. J's warehouseville is already in full affect.
MS November 30, 2011 at 05:26 PM
I have to disagree, the township is fighting me with what i want to do with my land, and what i want to do will cause no harm to anyone. What Jaindl wants to do will cause a major upheaval to the area
MS November 30, 2011 at 05:27 PM
And, I also might add that when the development behind my house was built, the township could have cared less about any future rain fall.....my yard has been flooded more this year than ever, it is still flooded....because one developer didn't do his homework
Friends for Protection LMT November 30, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Have you considered suing like the Deiberts (not sure if that is spelled right) I believe their case was successful...
Dave Greff November 30, 2011 at 06:36 PM
In my opinion Jaindl gets what they want from the commissioners, zoning board, etc. Why maybe they are looking out for themselves when they are no longer invloved in the township. My BIGGER question is why was the current commissioner reelected???????????????????????
optimist November 30, 2011 at 06:59 PM
Two seats available in the last election with three running. Brown was the number 2 vote getter about 700 behind fellow Republican Lancsek and about 250 in front of Democrat Sharpe. Nearly impossible for a Democrat to win in this twsp. However, notice the difference between the Lancsek and incumbent Brown. Also, in the voting district near Spring Creek Road Sharpe actually beat Brown by over 100 votes.
Kevin Spear, PE December 01, 2011 at 06:34 AM
Dear Friends - if you think that Jaindl's zoning changes are unlawful based on pre-existing ag-pres rules, why wasn't that point beat into the ZHB recent appeal? That seems substantiative enough to question the Commissioners outcome. And thinking that your colelctive best shot is not with substance issues but technicalities? Since I have only been watching from a distance, can this fact you mention merely be your interpretation? By the way, when it comes to rainfall and drainage - even the the NWS in the MCall has noted that we've had a record year for precipitation. I think it said something like 67 inches of rain this year (not counting December) when 45 inches is normal. That's 150% - even my small development, graded backyard is saturated. In the case of the Deiberts, they found calculation errors as a result of physical evidence over a course of time. Let's not get excited over an extreme year. If there is a drainage problem, you'll see it 5 years from now when there's a drought.
Friends for Protection LMT December 01, 2011 at 03:38 PM
Do not think the changes were unlawful based on pre-existing zoning. The change was a result of classic Jaindl tactic used many times in the past. Propose LULU (locally unpopular land usage) to get the zoning you really want. The BOC didn't call his bluff or initiate public discussion whether their (but really Jaindls) alternative plan was better or worse then said potential Quarry. MANY feel the quarry would have been much much more attractive vs. warehousing. The quarry proposal presented was a beast, in reality it would have been much smaller. And yes, many believe the forever impacts of warehousing are much less destructive to the community then quarry. This is the crux of the issue. The public never had a chance to weigh in.. therefore we'll never know.
Dave Greff December 01, 2011 at 03:39 PM
Kevin How long have you lived in LMT, the flooding was non existent 40 years ago and each year it gets worse, GET WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friends for Protection LMT December 01, 2011 at 03:39 PM
Yes, the fashion this alternative plan was introduced/hurried/secretive in our opinion was not only unethical but illegal. The subpoena of the commissioners was essential in proving this. Unfortunately Mr. Royer conceded to Mr. Zator and Lehr in regards to this point that would not allow the BOC to testify. Therefore, allowing very little chance of proving case. It then came to a choice and the appellants do not have deep pockets only relying on donations to support legal efforts. So the choice was concentrate on county case which they have already won. We only mention the lands 23 year ag zoning because some people at face value assign this as a "land-owners rights issue", which it isn't. (and is really oversimplifying which imho is a by-product of our wonderful 24 hour talking points news/opinion cycle)
Kevin Spear, PE December 01, 2011 at 05:09 PM
My intent is not to anger but have a true dialog. If there is increase in flooding over 40 years, you have every right to pursue that with the Twp Engineer. I can not speak to what the ordinance for LMT has required over 40 years, but certainly the last 20 years has intended that there is no peak flow increase (quantity) or quality degradation. In the last 10 years or so, townships have realized there is also a total volume issue that is now required to be a net zero or something like that. What that means even in no peak flow increase is that flooding will not occur unless the rivers downstream have become clogged or resistant to the same flow. I've seen many Twp's have to do maintenance on stream corridors to reduce perceived flooding when in fact there is actually a reduction in real volume and flow. Let's not forget that these parcels being developed now and 40 years ago were basically agricultural if i'm not mistaken. Have you ever stood next to a farm when it rains? The water can't runoff fast enough. Now, stand next a lawn and what do you see? Yes there is also pavement but in all cases that water is cleaner and less turbed going to streams. In fact, we're required to assume the existing condition is a meadow in good cover condition, which it never is... So hydrologic studies are conservative at the worst and ultra conservative at the best.
Friends for Protection LMT December 01, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Your right insofar as Ag land being bad in terms of runoff. But THIS particular development, built out to max to put in perspective and I wish I could remember the number... but the acreage of just warehouse ROOFTOP is astounding. There are many benefits of Ag-land the biggest being food production in a country where food scarcity WILL be an issue sooner rather then later, while yes it is an offender in terms of run-off the benefits far outweigh the negatives. But it simply cannot be argued that without a doubt warehousing is, the absolute worse offender. The worse possible type of development in a township with flooding/traffic issues. There are very very few positives. Employment? Warehouses are well on the way to automation. Google warehouse automation. It's coming. Soon. It is not a stretch to say a multi acre building in the near future will be staffed only by a dozen or so full time workers. The environmental affects are forever, (vs. a Quarry) terrible and documented. The community in the immediate area will see home values plummet. And traffic...? One word. Fogelsville. Tax base? Growth as tax policy never works. It is by definition un-sustainable.
Friends for Protection LMT December 01, 2011 at 08:10 PM
And yes, Kevin true dialogue is great. In fact It's one of the main reasons we're fighting this. The community never had a chance to engage in dialogue of the fundamental question. Warehouses vs. Quarry.
Kevin Spear, PE December 01, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Your concern about acres of rooftop is exactly why there is such a thing as the USGBC and LEED. There are financial incentives for building owners to adhere to these "green" solutions, one of which is a green roof. Does everyone do it? No, does everyone stop completely at a stop sign? Only if they have to, right? So, my experience is that land is zoned and will be developed, right or wrong. Is it this parcel or that parcel is merely semantics. Local townships are not going to stop development, ever. What they are good at is layers of permits and regulations. Why not REQUIRE LEED buildings?
Friends for Protection LMT December 02, 2011 at 02:10 PM
Kevin, that is something we can agree on! Would this BOC being so friendly with Mr. Jaindl take this step? For those reading this here is an informative link regarding LEED buildings: http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19

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