Tensions were high when developer David Jaindl and his team of consultants and engineers appeared before the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors on Thursday, December 13 to discuss the relocation of Seemsville Road following Jaindl-Watson’s warehouse project in neighboring Allen Township.
Jaindl and his team appeared before the board to discuss waiver requests for the project, among which included roadway and storm water requirements.
The first waiver request was for relief from a 25-foot right-of-way on the side of the road. However, supervisors quickly voiced their concern about the utilities along the side of the road and the potential for future development.
“Who knows if we will have to do more in that right-of-way?” said Supervisor Mark Schwartz.
Jaindl’s experts are also proposing a swale at the northern end of the old Seemsville Road, but nothing else in regards to curbs or drainage. However, the northern and southern ends of the old road will be turned into cul-de-sacs, which made some supervisors concerned about flooding.
“How do we know it [the swale] is going to work?” asked Supervisor Georgiann Hunsicker. She cited flooding at the FedEx Ground site.
“[Flooding] causes a lot of accidents and stress on homeowners,” she said.
Supervisor Roger Unangst asked Jaindl to prepare contour lines and grading plans for a visual representation.
Unangst also made it clear that the board had no intention of voting on any of the waiver requests until January. He asked the township’s solicitor and engineer to make a list of concerns for review.
Another waiver request Jaindl made was for trees and shrubbery along the retention basin. Instead of vegetation, they asked for a fence.
However, East Allen Supervisors said they do not want residents of old Seemsville Road to have to look at the basin, even if those residents are citizens of Allen, not East Allen, Township.
It was at the mention of Allen Township that tensions between supervisors and Jaindl started to rise. Allen Township approved the warehouse plan.
“There are five supervisors here [angry] as hornets,” said Unangst.
“You had every opportunity to work with Allen Township to put traffic through Howertown Road,” he continued. “[But] Allen Township does not want to run it past their dog park.”
“We got drug into this,” he added.
Jaindl countered that Unangst was being unreasonable, but Unangst cited the concerns of 5,000 East Allen Township residents.
“We have 5,000 people in this township,” he said. “I cannot go out…I cannot run my business, without people telling me how they are being screwed.”
“There are money hungry people that [do not care] about this township,” Unangst continued.
Unangst said he will do what is required of him by law when it comes to the inter-municipal agreement that must be signed by Allen, East Allen, and Northampton School District officials in order for the project to move forward. However, he would not do so without voicing his opinion.
“Some of what I have to vote on disgusts me,” he told Jaindl. “[And] it is aimed at you.”
East Allen Supervisors will continue to discuss the waivers when they reconvene in the New Year.