Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Is Green Pond Development For the Birds?

Pennoni Engineering's Rocco Caracciolo
A proposed 314-home residential development, to be located at Green Pond Country Club, was greeted with concerns about stormwater management, road widths and the environment by both residents and Commissioners at their March 18 meeting. Developer J.G. Petrucci is nevertheless hopeful that the project will be built next year.

Petrucci Principal Greg Rogerson, along with Pennoni Engineering's Rocco Caracciolo, presented a sketch plan that requires no zoning changes. "Its a by right plan," noted Rogerson. But he cautioned Commissioners that they are unable to "solve the Church Road intersection," which currently empties out onto Easton Avenue at a steep angle.

Carraccioli did state that the development will reduce, though not eliminate, stormwater discharges from flood-prone Green Pond. "This is a challenged area for flooding," he stated. Petrucci has spent "hundreds of thousands" of dollars for a plan that will divert most stormwater onto the golf course. The impact of a two-year storm would be reduced by 30%, and a 100-year storm by 10%, claimed the engineer.

Farmersville Road resident Jack Glagola, insisted that the impervious surfaces from new development would just exacerbate the current flooding. "In no way is there any support for this development in its current configuration," he stated, adding that he had spoken to neighbors.

On behalf of both the Audubon and Sierra Club, Bethlehem resident Vicky Bastidas warned Commissioners and Caracciolo that the Green Pond is a migratory stopping ground for 161 bird species. "These are not ducks. These are marsh birds," Bastidas advised. According to Bastidas, those birds can handle only 2-3" of water, as opposed to the deep basin proposed in the sketch plan.

Commissioners were asked to table the proposal, but Tom Nolan told residents that no action is required for a sketch plan. "It's just an overview so we have an idea," he stated.

Commissioner Marty Zawarski was hung up on road widths instead of the 32-foot wide roads proposed, he'd like them to be 36-foot for more on-street parking. Caracciolo stated that could be done, but will increase the impervious coverage.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

This proposed development would be a disaster for the green Pond area and for the Creeks watershed.

Anonymous said...

It is stupid to let a few birds get in the way of progress. Build the new houses.

Anonymous said...

Why not just fill in the Green Pond and be done with those silly geese?Since when does an age old sanctuary
for 161 species of Birds trump the need for Bethlehem Township to foster development/destruction of the land by adding hundreds of housing units which could add to their tax base?

Anonymous said...

So this one women represents three,four, how many groups? Maybe these groups don't even exist?
Or they have only one member, V.B.
Who care?

Uncle Remus said...

will the birds add to the economy?

Anonymous said...

why are the burbs still insisting on these wide 36 foot side roads when 30 - 32 foot still allows two lanes plua a parking lane? This t only reduces stormwater it reduces speed. It is a known fact that narrower streets reduces speed. As for the birds they will have the entire 18-hole golf course and their water features for their habitat.

Anonymous said...

Fuck the birds. They don't lower my taxes.

Anonymous said...

Remus for Township Commissioner. He would be perfect. He would fit right in.
Run Remus.

Anonymous said...

There's not enough fill in the area to displace that much water. The flooding there has gotten very bad in recent years. Moravian Academy is building a monstrosity near by and is likely exacerbating the problem.

It should be clear to everybody that Bethlehem Township is in desperate need of additional residential development. Whatever steps need to be taken, including constructing a bridge over those troubled waters, should be taken post haste.

Anonymous said...

How stupid can you be? Until some people in the township get organized to fight this, there's no hope and more intelligent planning.
If outsiders want to help do anything. They should help organize people inside the township. Anything y else is just a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

More impervious area Marty.......that's the kind of heads-up smart planning the citizens of Bethlehem Twp. expect from their elected officials. More asphalt please.
As they say-----you couldn't make this shit up.
A s Ship of Fools!

c said...

Pave it all. Plenty of room for dead stuffed birds in museums.
After all, more homes equal lower taxes right?
To hell with cost of community services studies.

Anonymous said...

The future in the township belongs to the developers. Everyone knows the fix is in. The developers------ and a special thank you to Central Moravian Church.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Anonymous said...

Development equals jobs. It equals investment in a community. Who would fight this, the very same people that have already moved in the Township living in their McMansions or Townhomes? Bethlehem Township is growth community. Look at all the approved plans at the Township and County levels, this is where development is slated. If you want to look at ponds and birds, move up to the Slate Belt area or the Rural Townships. Anti development people are simply ignorant and not credible. Ask the anti's in Lower Macungie what their crusade cost them personally and the Township taxpayers. Enough said.

c said...

Perhaps you should wait until the election is over in LMT before you display such smug behaviour. What the people in LMT willl get is compromise. What is wrong with wanting to preserve a few portions of a community (Bethlehem Twp.) that make it special and unique? What is wrong with proper planning? That's not anti anything, it's pro responsible.

Anonymous said...

I loved Rocco in Skyfall.

Anonymous said...

Fuck any open space. Bethlehem Township is about development. You want open-space go somewhere else.
Pave the township!

Anonymous said...

The townships own long-range plan calls for the protection of open space along the creek, and in the southwest section of the township. Also along the Lehigh River.
But what the hell, it's okay to ignore your own plans, if you can make a buck out of it. It ain't about livability. It's about the Almighty dollar.
Plans were made to be ignored.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Isn't this a "By right plan"? My understanding is that the developer does not require any special zoning relief or any ordinances to make this possible. If that is so, then it appears that this land has been slated for development all along. So your assertion that this is contrary to the township's long-range plans appears to be inaccurate. I understand your misgivings, especially after listening to Jack Glagola, but believe your facts are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Check out the zoning around the park. Also the tp's
last comprehensive plan.
( I'm not talking about the golf course area here.)

Anonymous said...

The City of Bethlehem will bear the burden for most of the downstream flooding.
What an irony that Central Moravian Church will be in part responsible for flooding Historic Bethlehem's Industrial Area and MusicFest.
Historic Bethlehem Inc. knows this but is forced into silence by the power of CMC and BAM. This is a fact that can be verified. CMC want to max out its it's profit by ignoring the Luzzy Prime will and selling land left for open space to high density development. This plan goes back to Rev. Doug Caldwell. Again, this can be verified.

Anonymous said...

@8:17 Proper planning is in place. What don't you understand? Do you not know how the game is played? The property is planned by the County and Township. It is zoned by the Township. Developer/property owner is ENTITLED to an approval so long as it meets the plans and ordinances. Laws state you, the Government, can't make changes to the plans and ordinances while the land owner (yes this is still the USA)proposes to use HIS land. So.. there you have it. He can do what he wants with his land so long as he meets your socialistic/communistic laws.

Anonymous said...

Saving the park,or the pond, and preventing the flooding or destruction of the watershed is just an excuse for a socialist and communist agenda.
Wake up. Don't you recognize socialism and communism when you see it?
Thank God for Mr. Hudak and Mr. Weiss.

Anonymous said...

Brady is CMC's man on the inside. The whole thing has the smell of something slightly rotten. The township is all up for sale, forget about zoning- planning or doing what's right for the future. Just save some special piece for Abe.

c said...

10:45
Sorry to continue this into the next day, I go to bed early. I fully understand SALDO, Zoning, and Stormwater BMP (how the game is played). There are multiple factors that come into play here, the township, the objectors, the developer etc. Petrucci is one of the good guys who I believe cares about this region. Why can't a solution be derived that best preserves the most unique portion of this parcel and yet allows the investor to maximize the potential of his land? After all, people come from all over this area to see this particular spot, why not develop in a way that enhances its unique characteristics?

Anonymous said...

In the early 2000s, Bethlehem Township spent approximately $150k on a complete Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance that was designed to promote reasonable development and create the community that everyone could live with. In the past two years, because of the excuse of the economy, the Planners and Commissioners are doing whatever they can to supersede this Comprehensive Plan by handing the keys of the Township to developers.
So either they were short-sighted and wasteful in spending the taxpayer's money in 2000 on an unworkable comprehensive plan, or they are in such dire needs financially they are willing to mortgage the future of the Township to outside developers that don't give a hang about the community.

Anonymous said...

The intersection of Church Road and Easton Avenue is awful and I don't see any way to fix it unless you tear the church down. Most of the time you can't turn right onto Easton Avenue without someone letting you in. And to turn left is impossible. And the sight lines are very dangerous. Therefore does it make sense to add more traffic to this intersection? The plan calls for about 1,000 parking spaces, and that's a lot of cars to dump onto currently inadequate roads. Between the drainage issues and the road issues, this acreage just doesn't seem suitable for any kind of dense development. Maybe that is why in the last ten plus years it has never made it past the sketch stage. Also, I believe this area was rezoned in 2001 or 2002 for residential golf course development at the request of the then developer. At that time the plan included intermingling houses and fairways. The current plan has no relation to the golf course, except for being next to it. So not sure that it would qualify now for that zoning.

Anonymous said...

What a remarkable shame that the Moravians are not leading the way toward a humane and enviromentally
resonable solution.
Is it too late? Maybe there is still hope.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:10 The Township actually spent $250 on that Comprehensive map and zoning. Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Correction $250 thousand.

Anonymous said...

What do Hudak and Weiss have to say about this?

Anonymous said...

In this development are there any proposed commercial venues? Like a mall or stores? I hope a good hot dog stand or cheese-steak place goes in there. This area needs it.

Anonymous said...

More strip malls please.......and wearhouses if possible.
Who gives a damn about migratory birds?