The Allen Township Planning Commission met with developer Ed Deichmeister during their monthly meeting on Monday, July 16. Deichmeister, who was accompanied by his attorney Al Peirce, is planning to develop 58 units in three separate multi-family dwellings. The units would be marketed toward residents 55 and older, though not restricted to that demographic. One lot would hold 18 units and two would hold 20.
“It is a little unique…most of the Lehigh Valley has not seen a development like this,” Deichmeister said.
Deichmeister was seeking clarification from the commission on a zoning ordinance that requires lots to hold no more than eight to twelve units.
“These units are going to be small units,” he reasoned. Each, he said, would only hold one bedroom and be between 600 and 900 square feet.
However, the commission said it has no power to interpret zoning or SALDO rules. Deichmeister would have to seek a written recommendation from the township’s zoning officer.
The same goes for the property’s open space allotment. Deichmeister and Pierce asked whether open space is applicable.
Township attorney Lincoln Treadwell said zoning would require 1,000 square feet of open space per unit, totaling 58,000 square feet.
Deichmeister said he is only building on 37 percent of the land he owns in the township and that he already has 11.55 acres of open space.
However, this open space, planning commission chairman Eugene Clater said, only counts if it is open to the public, which Deichmeister said it currently is not.
Deichmesiter and Peirce said they will discuss alternatives with the township zoning officer. If they are unhappy with the recommendation, they will appeal to the zoning hearing board.
Representatives from Jaindl Watson also met with the planning commission on July 16 to go over waiver requests for their land development plan for a series of warehouses along Howertown and Seemsville Roads. Many of the waiver requests had previously been discussed by the township’s board of supervisors the week prior.
Bruce Anderson, project manager, presented the requests to the board. Among those that were granted included changing the drainage ditch slope from two percent to one percent, deferring sidewalks on the development’s north side, substituting a waterline in lieu of improvements to Mud Lane, increasing the width of the development’s access drive from 28 feet to 36 feet, and dedicating 40.33 acres of open space to the township.
Commissioners discussed potentially connecting this open space to nearby parks. Commissioner Gary Krill suggested building a boardwalk over the property’s wetlands, instead of leaving open space “stranded” without any access for the public.
Commission Gary Behler agreed.
“Maybe we do not do something right away, but we put in place something we can do in the future,” he said.
Representatives from Jaindl Watson agreed and expressed that they are willing to discuss options with the township.