Bethlehem Twp. commissioners overview plans for Farmersville Street residential improvement

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. – Kay Builders introduced its sketch plan to the Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners Monday evening, with the intention to garner suggestions on its proposed new improvement on Farmersville Street.

Rick Roseberry, of Colliers Engineering and Design, described the undertaking —at present known as the “Miller Tract” — to commissioners, and defined the purpose of Kay Builders is to construct the very best undertaking they’ll.

A sketch plan ready by Jackson Land Planning, King of Prussia, for Kay Builders’ proposed 166-unit residential improvement on Farmersville Street in Bethlehem Township.

The sketch plan at present reveals a complete of 166 items, consisting of single-family properties, townhouses and residences, to be constructed on a 52-acre open area lot often called Miller Farm. All dwellings are on the market; there can be no leases.

The land, positioned at 3107 Farmersville Street, is privately owned by the Miller household, and has been a farm for practically 300 years. Its zoning permits for residential improvement, however some residents expressed fear about how the addition of 166 items will have an effect on their neighborhood.

Commissioner Dale Sourbeck mentioned it isn’t throughout the board’s energy to cease the sale of the farm, however hopefully after reviewing the developer’s sketch plan, it is going to be in a position to reply a few of residents’ issues.   

“Not one of the commissioners had been right here on the time that property was zoned, so it has been zoned that, I believe, since the 80s,” Sourbeck mentioned, “in order that’s what now we have to take care of, and now we have to adjust to the legislation.”

Whereas Commissioner Malissa Davis counseled Kay Builders for conserving the farmhouse in its plans, she urged the developer to contemplate preserving the barn constructed on the property within the early 1700s.

Roseberry mentioned his agency not too long ago had a barn professional on website to contemplate preservation or relocation of the construction, and to estimate what the associated fee and feasibility can be to take action.

Residents questioned why the homeowners will not be trying to protect the farm earlier than promoting it.   

“I talked to the farmer a number of occasions on the Palace (Restaurant),” mentioned Bethlehem Township resident. “He indicated he wasn’t going to promote. Sadly he’s now not with us, and I am unable to cease the household from doing what the household must do.”

Kay Builders’ proposed improvement would include over 17 acres of open area for its residents, however some commissioners expressed the need to have the greenery face Farmersville Street to supply a greater aesthetic to passing automobiles. At the moment, the greenery faces away from the street, with solely properties viewable to automobiles driving by on Farmersville Street.

As well as, commissioners urged consolidating the townhomes with the single-family items and residences, reasonably than separating every part.

In response, Roseberry mentioned he would see what they may do, and defined the intent is to not have three separate sections, and to have every unit adjoining to a inexperienced area.

Further suggestions from the commissioners included questions of when a neighborhood influence research can be accomplished, if a turning lane into the event can be wanted on Farmersville Street, and what, if any, different enhancements to that street can be wanted.

Roseberry mentioned there can be a full frontage enchancment on Farmersville Street, making the roadways wider and tending to curbs and sidewalks. He mentioned he doesn’t foresee {that a} turning lane can be vital, however they are going to implement one if wanted.

The neighborhood influence research can be accomplished within the close to future together with a extra refined plan, he added. 

Throughout public remark, commissioners intently listened to and addressed residents’ issues.

“I’ve simply come again into the world not too long ago, and the quantity of change that has occurred within the space on account of these developments which have been coming in is simply destroying the muse of this city,” mentioned one Bethlehem Township resident.  

One other resident urged the undertaking is basically being constructed on a flood plain, commissioners redirected that query to Roseberry, who mentioned there are “parts of the undertaking throughout the floodplain” however no constructions throughout the floodplain.

Roseberry additional acknowledged they’re tentatively 4 stormwater basins, and can adjust to any Growth of Environmental Safety rules.

Whereas Roseberry takes the commissioners’ suggestions to Kay Builders to revise their plan, it is clear some residents nonetheless have a bitter style for an additional new construct on open land.

“You are placing a small metropolis in suburban life,” one resident mentioned.

Sourbeck mentioned the commissioners will ensure that the plan meets township requirements, and he additionally mentioned a vote will not be anticipated for a number of months. 

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