Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why Applebutter Village Should Be Viewed With Caution

In my post about Applebutter Village yesterday, I was less than enthusiastic about the idea of ripping down an old stone farm house. And I admit, I am suspicious of trailer parks, even if they are fancier manufactured homes on slabs of concrete.

Landfills, sewage treatment plants, and trailer parks (or you can call them manufactured home villages) go together. Check out the sewage treatment plant on 611 south of Easton. What's nearby? Better yet, go to Exeter Township in Berks County (just north of Birdsboro and the Schuylkill River). There, someone actually built a trailer park ON TOP OF an abandoned landfill! It was called Eddie Smith Trailer Park and the DEP closed it down about 10 years ago because the high levels of methane gas seeping into the trailers were creating a severe health and safety hazard.

Applebutter Village may not sit on top of an abandoned landfill, but the land where it is located is scheduled to be downzoned in the new zoning ordinance.

There is a suspicion in some quarters that these plans were submitted in advance of the new ordinance so that the higher density development would be grandfathered in under the existing zoning ordinance.

The developer has, so far, been very uncooperative in addressing numerous issues with their site plan. Could it be that he simply wants to "mark" the property for higher density zoning without having to spend any real money on the site plan.

That's probably why, at Monday's Planning Commission meeting, planners insisted that a new plan be submitted by July 14. It's probably why they insist that the developer also address, line by line, the three pages of issues the Planning Department has with the current plan.

That will give the Planning Department 5 weeks (until the August 18 Planning Commission meeting) to establish whether the developer has adequately addressed the existing concerns, and give the developer time to address any remaining outstanding issues in the new plan.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do more homework. The development off 115 in Forks Township looks nicer than the neighborhood Beaver Cleaver grew up in. A previous poster said it was nicer than anything in Easton. That poster is is right, with the exception of parts of College Hill.

c said...

Good post Bernie.

Anonymous said...

I smell NIMBY on this issue from you Bernie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't live in Bethlehem or near any trailer park.

Anonymous said...

If that were high end housing going on that site, nobody would be complaining about the demolition of the farmhouse.

Johny Appleseed said...

http://youtu.be/UDAaevTq51I

mystic begonia said...

dolan will never vote for this nor will her elitist friends on council. they have no idea what goes on beyond artsquack. but i do hear she knows what is under the mayors desk.

Anonymous said...

how many red light are allowed by ordinance?