|Photo (Bill Berry) Canada and snow geese at Green Pond Marsh|
|(Photo Bill Berry) Flooded road at Green Pond Marsh|
If the active senior community is approved, a provision in Township zoning will require that the remaining golf course lands be kept as open space, even if the golf course eventually fails. Golf Club president John Daub has promised that, if that happens and the TOA plan falls through, he will develop the entire golf course.
As TOA engineers a formal plan, environmentalist Karen Berry registered her concerns with Commissioners at their March 7 meeting. Berry and her husband Bill visited the property after a recent hard rainfall, and were shocked by the amount of traffic at 7:45 am, as well as roads deluges by storm waters.
|10th St residents flooded out five times since June|
Berry also questioned whether a restriction on future building would last, and cited as an example the removal of deed restrictions that will permit development of a $335 million Fed Ex hub on lands now owned by the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority.
"Deed restrictions have temporary, not long term, value," she argued.
Commissioners took no action in response to Berry because there is nothing in front of them at this time from TOA. But they heard from residents in other parts of the Township with storm water concerns of their own.
|Miracle League thanks Township|
Tom Nolan told them that the township is getting ready to do a storm water study that will "include everybody." He worried that solving their problem might create a problem for someone else.
Another resident, Thomas Senick of the 1600 block of Freemansburg road, complained about the mud collecting along the east side of the road after rainfalls, and suggested that the gutters be cleaned. "This problem should be addressed as soon as possible," he advised.
Senick is also concerned about as many as 100 dump trucks visiting a nearby quarry every weekend, carrying "questionable" material. But Planning Director Nathan Jones stated these dump trucks are participating in a DEP-sanctioned quarry reclamation project.
Resident Barry Roth complained that he's "tired of hearing about [stormwater] studies. You got a problem. You know you got a problem. Just putting your head in the sand and ignoring the problem isn't making it go away." But Malissa Davis countered, "Everybody needs to think a lot about ways to get this paid for."
In other business, Commissioners approved an eight-home development called Washington Park Estates, which has been on the drawing board since 2007. .
Commissioners also voted in favor of a minor change to Madison Farms, replacing a restaurant with an office building.
They approved a resolution authorizing the Township Manager to present a wish list of public safety grant requests to the NorCo Gaming Board at their meeting later this month.
They also voted to adopt guidelines under which Township police officers may make warrantless arrests for summary offenses like disorderly conduct.
Finally, they voted to advertise an ordinance that would rezone a small section of Easton Avenue from residential to neighborhood commercial for a proposed hair salon. Kim Jenkins opposed that proposal. All other votes were 4-0. Commissioner Michael Hudak was absent.
The Township also received some rare praise from Bob Lammi and Richard Agretto of the Northampton County Miracle League. They thanked Commissioners for an annual contribution to help fund a baseball program at the Charles Chrin Community Center for developmentally challenged kids Lammi, Agretto and Dave Colver, in the height of the Great Recession, were able to cobble together $750,000 to build a rubber baseball field for kids of all ages. They started with 85 kids and have grown to 300 athletes.
Lammi spoke of the "joy" this program brings to volunteers and kids "doing something they never thought they'd be able to do," with team uniforms and games played under the lights. The room burst into applause.