The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed a bill that supersedes municipality regulations on tractor-trailer traffic, an act Planning Commission Chairman Eugene Clater called “unconscionable.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman Larry Oberly brought the news to the planning commission’s attention at the commission’s April 16 meeting. The bill, called HB1699, was passed on April 11. There were 189 state representatives in favor of the bill and only one against. None of the elected officials from Northampton County were against the bill.

The bill will next move to the state senate. If it passes, Oberly says it will basically eliminate any power local municipalities have to control truck traffic.

“I encourage anyone in the area to contact your state senator,” Oberly said.

Also on April 16, the planning commission approved a sewer-planning module for Willow Brook Farms. The farm will be moving its clubhouse to the L-barn on the property, which will require a new in-ground sewage disposal to be built. This disposal system will be using a well system that will carry an estimated 1,700 gallons of sewage per day.

Although the planning commission approved the planning module, they were unhappy that the Board of Supervisors allowed the plans to move forward without a SALDO review.

“I would hope in the future…the supervisors use the planning board for the point it is intended for,” said Clater.

Clater said that other commercial sites went through the planning commission.

“This one should have also,” he added.

Finally, the planning commission discussed amendments to the township’s land use and zoning map.

Township engineer Robert Cox presented examples of other townships’ zoning maps. He recommended the township revise its zoning map so it is “simpler and easy to follow.”

In order to achieve this, the commission made two recommendations for when it meets with the board of supervisors later this month. The first is that clusters be eliminated. The second is that the zoning map goes back to simply making zones agricultural and rural.


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