Michael Stadulis, representative for the Fuller family’s Willow Brook Farms, proposed a revised plan to Northampton council for 56 single homes on the property. The single-family homes would be along Howertown Road and Fourth Street. Developers had previously presented plans for apartment units in the area, which were rejected by council.
The homes would have their backyards facing Howertown Road. Previous plans had proposed front yards facing the busy roadway, but the construction of driveways would lead to the loss of the road’s evergreen trees.
“These trees are important to the community,” said Councilman Ed Pany.
The developer’s new plans propose backyards of 35 feet and front yards of 20 feet. This plan would require a waiver, but would save “many” of the evergreen trees. Stadulis said the future of the evergreen trees on the corner lot is questionable, but developers would attempt to move them if possible.
Stadulis wanted to know whether council would be in support of such a plan before seeking a waiver from zoning and moving forward with the final plan.
“This would help them tremendously to know where the borough stands,” said solicitor Steven Goudsouzian.
When a poll was taken, all council members voiced support for the plan. However, Councilwoman Judy Kutlzer said development on the property makes her “very sad.”
“I am not in favor of any development in that area,” she said.
Pany agreed. “I wish it was a cornfield…but I am glad we can [at least] save the trees.”
In other news, council approved the purchase of a new Pierce aerial ladder truck for the volunteer fire department. The price of the new truck is $1.44 million with an annual loan repayment of $105,000. Approval was unanimous.
The borough will not receive the truck until the end of 2020 because it takes roughly 13 months to build. Loan repayment will not start until the end of 2021. Borough manager LeRoy Brobst said the loan will not affect 2020’s budget, but will have an impact on 2021’s budget. Planning should start now, he said, to “stay ahead of the curve.”
“The need is what it is,” said Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. “Funding would not do detrimental damage to the borough.”
“If we do not do it now, it is kicking a can down the road,” said Kutzler. “[But] it is not done with a lot of joy.”
Finally, Tri-Boro Sportsmen Club has updated council on concerns over rapid firing. Sign-ins will now be required. Name, date, time in, and time out will all be recorded. Additional dirt will also be delivered on Oct. 26 and in November for berm construction. These new measures will be “strictly enforced.”