Blogger's Note: Brad Osborne asks South Whitehall Township candidates today about waivers typically sought by developers. A waiver or deferral (technically called a modification) can be granted "if the literal enforcement [of the SALDO] will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question, provided that such modification will not be contrary to the public interest and that the purpose and intent of the SALDO is observed.
A township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) protects against poor or undesired planning by assuring the placement of public improvements. These include roads, sidewalks, utilities, storm water controls and accessibility for fire and police services in the best interest of the community.
Christina “Tori” Morgan (R): No response.
Joe Setton (D): No response.
David Kennedy (R): Safety first is most important, then reasonable input from the zoning, planning, public safety, parks and recs commissions. The individuals who make up these commissions, in many cases, have more knowledge about the issues than the BOC. We need to utilize the expertise and training of the commission members on matters that affect subdivision and land development in SWT. (SALDO requirements)
Monica Hodges (R): Waivers should be granted only if they do not jeopardize public safety, and if they benefit the township and its citizens. It would be the developer’s responsibility to demonstrate how a waiver would be beneficial. I believe that we can have positive, mutually respectable relationships with developers without granting every single waiver that is requested.
Thomas J. Johns (D): Any request for a waiver from the township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance requirements must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The request must be made following resort by the developer to Lehigh County Planning Board, South Whitehall Planning and Zoning Boards, and Township Engineers.