There was one township resident in attendance at the East Allen Township Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, May 4.
Eric Miller stood before the planning commission and asked members questions about the proposed VerTek warehouse on Airport Road. He wanted to know who may be coming into the warehouse, what the hours of operation will be, how many loading docks the warehouse will have, what its water infrastructure will look like, and perhaps most importantly, how township residents will benefit from its development.
The commission was impressed with Miller’s questions and glad that he came to the meeting to ask them. Unless residents come out to the planning commission meetings, which are held once a month, they will not know what development and construction in the township will look like until final decisions may already be made.
The night’s agenda included VerTek representatives preparing for their hearing before the zoning board on May 16. They plan on making revisions to their plan, returning before the planning commission in June, and then appearing before the Board of Supervisors to seek conditional approval. VerTek has undergone a long process to develop the plan for the proposed warehouse and now feels that it has “everything” it need to appear before zoning. However, it is a plan that residents may know very little about if they have not attended any of the planning commission meetings in the past.
For example, residents may not know that, should the warehouse be approved, significant improvements will be made to the intersection at Airport Road and Route 329 because of a required PennDOT study VerTek must complete.
All improvements made to the township, from road maintenance to water infrastructure, are made possible from development. Although residents may not want increased development, the commission explained to Miller, addressing his last question, they help put off tax increases, made donations to the park system, and bring improvements to infrastructure.
“If more people just took an evening out one time a month…[they] would know what is happening,” said Planning Commission Chairman Don Heiney, encouraging residents to come out to the meetings like Miller had done and ask questions about the issues that will impact their township.
The next planning commission meeting will be held on Thursday, June 1 at 7 p.m.