|Is this really threatened by development?|
Armed with the power point that lately has become the weapon of choice during presentations, Open Space Administrator Bryan Cope pitched a plan to spend $86,868 to buy 18 acres in Williams Township's Hexenkopf Slopes. That's $4,826 per acre, for those of you keeping track at home. The County's investment will be $30,403.80. Owners Kenneth and Barbara Morrow will keep the remaining 2 acres and be surrounded by land that can never be developed. That land, in turn, is surrounded by land that has already been preserved, and that was Geissinger's problem.
Pointing out that he's new, Geissinger had some problem with preserving land that's surrounded on three sides by land that's already been preserved. And the land is steep slopes, with the occasional vernal pool, known to most of us as swampland.
"My concern is the fact that development of this land would be very difficult," Geissinger remarked.
Maria Bentzoni, the Farmland Preservation Administrator, responded with this, "In essence you're absolutely correct. But the opposite is true."
She went on to argue that developers will be falling all over themselves to grab cliff land because the land all around it is preserved. I see.
I don't think so.
Scott Parsons told Geissinger this project has already been reviewed extensively by both the Open Space Advisory Board and Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.
That's somewhat inaccurate. Though the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission has a regional plan for the area, it does not get involved in conservation easements, at least not to my knowledge. And the Open Space Advisory Board is packed with open space enthusiasts who have yet to meet a swamp they didn't like.
This plan, to put it simply is ridiculous, At a time when the County is bleeding money and running a deficit, perhaps the stupidest thing it could do is blow taxpayer dollars on land that will never be developed. This is government insanity, made possible by a horde of open space special interests, who will pack county meetings to warn about radioactive shit while taxpayers are working their second job to pay for this lunacy.
Or golf courses. I'll tell you about that below.