The East Allen Township Planning Commission met on Thursday, February 2 with representatives from Toll Brothers as the company moved forward with its plans for a private development on Beth-Bath Pike.
In addition to presenting an amended map of the plan, Toll Brothers sought a recommendation from the planning commission in preparation for its February 8 conditional use hearing before the township’s Board of Supervisors. With no outstanding waivers, enough parking for all of the property’s proposed 232 units, and sufficient roads, Toll Brothers representatives stated that the plan meets the requirements for conditional use and will not “adversely impact [the] area.”
“For the purposes of the underlying agreement,” they continued, “we need to keep moving things forward.”
After the presentation from Toll Brothers and with no objections from Planning Commission Engineer Jill Smith, the commission passed the recommendation to the East Allen Board of Supervisors for the approval of the conditional use petition.
While Toll Brothers is able to advance with its plans, the same could not be said for Vertek’s Airport Road land development plans, which were also presented before the planning commission on February 2. The plans for a 450,000 square foot warehouse were tabled until the commission’s next meeting based on outstanding conditions posed in the engineer’s letter. Smith stated that there were still “a lot of technical issues to work out,” including a traffic impact study from PennDOT, queuing concerns, and storm water issues.
However, Vertek representatives are positive. Plans for the property have been submitted three times and Vertek is taking every single recommendation made by the township and its engineers seriously in order to move the project along with as little conflict as possible.
“We are working diligently through the process to get plans for approval,” representatives said. “We are…taking concerns into account.”
New plans include landscaping around the property and repurposing old materials to construct a brick wall highlighting the township’s name in order to beautify the site around the warehouse.
“We are putting up a warehouse, but making it palatable to the environment,” Vertek said. “We want to be a partner in this, not an enemy.”
Finally, a sketch plan for the proposed Kings Acres apartment complex along the Beth-Bath Pike was also presented before the commission. The plan included ten apartment buildings housing 24 units each, as well as two commercial pads for shopping and a restaurant.
However, it was this density and the limited access to these buildings that had the planning commission concerned. Smith believes that only 80 apartments will be allowed by zoning, compared to the 240 currently being proposed. In addition, high levels of arsenic in the soil may also pose problems. Developers said that aeration and capping will be used, but Planning Commission Chairman Don Heiney would “like to see more of a plan for remediation [of the arsenic].”
If township residents would like to learn more about development in their area, the next planning commission meeting will be held on March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the township’s municipal building.