by Justin Sweitzer
At their final meeting for the month of November, the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors granted a request to extend the time of the Wal-Mart land development plan until March 31, 2017. The plan, for a Wal-Mart supercenter at the intersection of Route 145 and Birch Drive in Lehigh Township, was set to expire on Dec. 11, 2016.
The proposed development of the Wal-Mart has drawn considerable criticism from Lehigh Township residents who insist that the Wal-Mart supercenter will greatly disturb their way of life. The project was revisited and re-presented to the township in October following its previous abandonment after the 2008 financial crisis.
According to the board, the developers behind the project have been revising their plans following the review by the township engineer who made changes and recommendations to the original 16-page document submitted to the township.
The board also extended the deadline for the Northwoods Major Subdivision. The plans for the subdivision were set to expire on November 30, so the board moved to also extend their deadline to March 31, 2017.
Board member Keith Hantz made a motion to appoint Hanover Engineering as the township’s zoning officer, which was unanimously approved by the board. The decision to appoint Hanover Engineering was supported by Township Solicitor David Backenstoe who believed it to be a good time to make the as the amount of zoning applications has declined as of late.
A short-term rental ordinance to address the growing use of online short-term property rentals, such as Airbnb, was tabled to the board’s next meeting to allow for a more in-depth discussion between members.
The next Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors meeting will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.