|Brooke Kuronya passes out watercolors|
of birds documented at Green Pond Marsh
Traditions had sought waivers and deferrals on road widths and sidewalks. The Plan proposes road widths of 26' and 28' in a 33-38' wide right of way, while the township requires 32' wide roads as part of a 50' wide right of way. Traditions also sought a waiver of sidewalks on both sides of the street and a waiver of a sidewalk along Farmersville and Green Pond Roads. he developer sought a deferral of sidewalks along Church Road.
The main argument in favor of granting these waivers and deferrals is that this would decrease the amount of impervious coverage by 3.12 acres, making it easier to manage stormwaters and protect the wetlands. More narrow roads would also have a traffic calming effect, though Township Engineer Bryan Dillman observed that it would be slower traffic in more congested roads. "I wouldn't say it's safer," he remarked
Before the presentation, artist Gwendolyn Evans Caldwell, with the assistance of Brooke Kuronya, distributed watercolor paintings of the different bird species that will be impacted by this development. She called the plan "unconscionable." Don Morgan objected to the traffic from 500 cars on country roads that are already too busy. He also questions what effect it will have on his well. Kathy Glagola reminded Commissioners that waivers and deferrals are "discretionary. You don't have to grant it." Melissa Davis said it would be "smart to hold off," noting that Green Pond Marsh is "something we have that no one else has in the Lehigh Valley."
Tim McCarthy, Managing partner at Traditions, assured Commissioners, "We expect it to be the best community we ever had." Partner David Biddison added there were similar environmental fears when a senior living community was proposed at Bridle Path Road. "Usually, it's the fear rather than the execution," he remarked.
Michael Hudak complimented Biddison. "I think you've gone above and beyond on this project," he told him. "I applaud your tenacity. Hudak noted their role is very limited. They are simply granting waivers and deferrals. It will be up to PennDOT to decide on the traffic impact. Stormwater concerns are addressed by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, he argued.
"The birds, the wetlands, are not going to be affected. I see these birds all the time. they will continue to come here. If I'm wrong, that's egg on my face."Hudak was joined by Marty Zaworski and Pat Breslin in granting the waivers. Breslin stated he is very impressed by the club house at other Traditions developments.
Tom Nolan and Phil Barnard voted against the waivers.
Calling the proposal a "poor plan" at a "terrible location," Nolan noted, like Glagola, that waivers are discretionary. He worried that granting waivers would be "basically giving you a green light to come in with a preliminary plan."
"We're the only voice for the migratory birds," Nolan concluded.