Bethlehem Township commissioner encourages residents to specific issues about Farmersville improvement

Bethlehem Township residents ought to train their proper to query the conversion of the Miller Farm into homes, Commissioner Dale Sourbeck mentioned Tuesday.

That doesn’t imply he expects the plan to be defeated.

“There’s not a lot we are able to do,” he mentioned. “I’m sure by the legislation. It’s in all probability going to occur.”

Kay Builders plans to place a mixture of 166 houses on the Miller tract alongside Farmersville Highway, throughout from the municipal park. The proposal obtained a primary look Monday night time from the township Planning Fee.

The 52 acres is privately owned and in a zone that enables residential improvement. Residents can complain, however property house owners have rights. The Planning Fee will make a advice, maybe not for a lot of months, on the proposal. The Board of Commissioners makes last land-use selections.

“The Planning Fee obtained beat up fairly good,” mentioned Sourbeck, who attended the assembly Monday however didn’t do any of the “beating up.” He mentioned that whereas residents ought to converse their minds, they need to additionally respect the service of others on township boards. Many individuals pay little consideration to native authorities till a problem hits dwelling.

Monday night time, residents complained about flooding and site visitors, points that the Planning Fee can think about, together with the event’s potential impression on {the electrical} grid, wildlife and faculties, issues past the realm of planning.

The so-called “Drawbridge Syndrome” was robust Monday. That’s the time period utilized in some planning circles for the will of residents who relocated to suburbs and rural areas from cities to “pull up the drawbridge” as soon as they’ve moved in. The township has been rising and farmland has been turning into homes for many years. Now, some individuals who moved there for the suburban way of life object to extra constructing regardless that their very own houses are on what was as soon as farmland.

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Sourbeck mentioned any last-minute effort to attempt to purchase the land to protect it is going to in all probability fail, and Monday night time, a commissioner mentioned there may be an settlement of sale in place.

“The township does not have the cash to purchase it,” Sourbeck mentioned, estimating a value of some million {dollars}. “I talked with the county (Northampton) and the county does not have the cash to purchase it.

If we had the cash, we might love to purchase it.”

Sourbeck mentioned he was out Monday, knocking on doorways to let residents know concerning the assembly so they may specific opinions. Nonetheless, land use isn’t set by referendum, however by zoning ordinance, and the zoning permits residences.

When the commissioners voted on permitting 220 flats on the former Bethlehem Drive-In, Sourbeck mentioned the township lawyer suggested the board that if the plan have been rejected, the developer might sue. Sourbeck nonetheless voted no however was on the quick finish of a 4-1 resolution.

The Farmersville plan could change earlier than a last vote, however Sourbeck has little hope of stopping it.

“If it have been actually as much as the commissioners, we would not permit this,” he mentioned, however improvement and property rights are dominated by legislation, not workplace holders.

“To me, it is numerous residences in a small space,” he mentioned, though an engineer for Kay Builders mentioned the developer might slot in 99 extra items for a complete of 265.

Sourbeck has not given up, and he mentioned he’ll sit down with township workers “and go over each single factor to ensure all of the i-s are dotted and the t-s are crossed within the developer’s presentation.

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That is all I can do.”

The commissioner can also be concerned in a residents’ group that objects to a proposed Wawa comfort retailer and gasoline station on the web site of the previous Leiser’s rental retailer on Nazareth Pike. Site visitors in that space is already unhealthy, Sourbeck mentioned.

Nazareth Pike and Farmersville Highway are each state roads, giving the township even much less authority over improvement.

Residents must focus and manage, Sourbeck mentioned, to get something achieved. He mentioned he’ll preserve attempting to keep up Bethlehem Township’s character.

“I consider in attempting. You do not know till you strive, after which in case you lose you lose,” he mentioned.