Jaindl Plan Will Turn Lower Macungie Farmland into Ugly MacArthur Road

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.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Jon, when are you going to defend the people who stole money from their mortgage lender so they could go to the casino and take their boat out?

    Also, the real question for Lower Mac here is, what's worse – a quarry or development? Not an easy question.

  2. Anonymous says:

    what happened to the bankers sign-off? too embarrassed about all the idiotic statements?

  3. Chris Casey says:

    I will stay on Topic.
    So how about State Rep Doug Reichley? He has feigned concern for eight years, but always goes along with the party line. "Build Baby Build!"
    Still waiting on that Pa Municipal reform that you claimed you would accomplish way back in 2006.
    There you go, Pat Slattery, hit Dougie with this one, it might sway a few voters in LOWER REPUBLICAN TOWNSHIP.

  4. Jon Geeting says:

    The answer is following the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission's comprehensive plan and leaving it as farm land. Jaindl can sell the property. Why not just liquidate the asset and use the capital to buy other land that's zoned for that purpose?

  5. Jon Geeting says:

    Chris, can you explain the changes Reichley wanted to make in 2006?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jon, please do more research. It's current zoning allows a quarry. Jaindl already did much of the legwork to do a quarry. That's what the township was up against.

    It's just like your parking story in Emmaus – you have no idea what you're talking about.

  7. Anonymous says:

    options: #1. Allow a quarry, under conditional use as the zoning allows with conditions to protect the surrounding area. while it would create added traffic issues to the area the permits required in a high quality watershed would have crippled the project.#2 Fight to preserve the agricultural zoning on the highest yielding crop producing soils in the Lehigh Valley and protect the little bit of agricultural land in the township that has not been covered by development. #3 fold and give the developer whatever he wants so you dont have to spend the money to fight the change in the court system, claim that it is obviously a much better option to allow hundreds of acres of farmland to become industrial and commercial uses and allow housing that could add another 900 school students to burden the east penn school district tax payers and even more congestion to the road system than the quarry would, etc. great move Lower Macungie Supervisors! What is this rezoning really going to cost each resident over the next twenty years? I bet it will be much more than the cost to fight a quarry plan that was a bluff.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] multi-county zoning and land-use plans, or more by-right zoning, or on land value taxation. You can change the Municipal Planning Code to make regional planning bodies’ recommendations legally binding. You can leverage state [...]

  2. [...] planning agreements, since the state Municipal Planning Code specifically makes these documents advisory only, rather than legally binding on municipalities and [...]

  3. [...] region is a decent smart growth plan, and I believe that LVPC rulings should be legally binding. Since they’re not legally binding, the next best thing is for elected officials to treat their recommendations as [...]

  4. [...] readers of my personal blog know that MacArthur Road in Whitehall, PA has long been my favorite whipping boy. This road is ugly, and it serves as the perfect bogeyman [...]

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