Everything that is wrong with the PA Municipal Planning code explained in one sentence:
Lower Macungie’s plan to allow homes and industry on hundreds of acres of farmland amounts to “poor planning” that contradicts regional growth goals, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission says.
Chiming in on planned ordinance changes designed to accommodate development planned by David Jaindl, the two-county planning commission says the township is perpetuating suburban sprawl.
The planners, in a pair of May 28 letters, detail their opposition to zoning and subdivision and land development ordinance changes. They also raised concerns about spot zoning and contract zoning.
“They are a planning commission and have a right to explain their viewpoint,” said Bruce Fosselman, Lower Macungie’s manager. “We appreciate their comments.”
Basically, the Jaindl plan is to build a bunch of crappy suburban sprawl in an area it’s not supposed to be. Bruce Fosselman “appreciates” the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s comments, but still wants to push through a project that runs totally counter to both the LVPC’s comprehensive plan and the Southwestern Lehigh County Comprehensive Plan. And since the PA Municipal Planning code makes compliance with these plans totally voluntary, Fosselman isn’t legally bound to abide by their recommendations. Like this is some kind of hobby for the LVPC!
The planning code must be changed to state that municipalities and townships must adhere to the comprehensive plan.
There’s a Harrisburg component to this that has to change, but before you throw up your hands in defeat, another key component is electing new Township Supervisors locally who support this change, and who in turn appoint Managers who also support the change. I will continue to monitor this issue and try to sort out the good Township Supervisors from the bad Township Supervisors in future posts. In the meantime, you should read up on how insane Pennsylvania’s system of municipalities is, and what plans exist to eliminate them and switch to a county-based system of local governance in the medium-to-long term.