During Northampton Borough Council’s Dec. 5 meeting, Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. took time to voice his displeasure over the future Northampton Townhomes development. This development of 40 townhomes will be built on 21st Street, behind the Redner’s Quick Shoppe. After a delay, the borough’s Planning Commission was scheduled to review the final plan on Dec. 11.
“It is sacrilegious to put 40 townhomes on that property,” said Lopsonzski, Sr.
He said the property was zoned industrial due to its proximity to Route 329 and the railroad. He expressed worry over young children and teens having to cross the highway and the railroad tracks. He also worried about the ability of first responders to access the property.
He said the development will be crowded, with roughly three cars and two children per unit.
“That property would be better served as a strip mall,” he said. “Anything would be better than townhomes.”
Abe Atiyeh is the owner of the property, which used to be the location of Cross Country Clothing. He had formerly wanted to develop a senior living facility there.
In other news, the borough will be applying for a $400,000 grant to help pay for flood remediation along Dry Run Creek. The grant will help meet MS4 mandates.
Lopsonzski, Sr. spoke out against the MS4 mandate and the flood remediation program. He said this remediation will do what the former Atlas Dam did. He said it cost the same amount of money for the borough to tear down the dam as they would get from the grant.
However, the borough is required to perform this remediation under mandate. And this grant, explained Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst, would save the borough hundreds of thousands of dollars.
During the meeting, the borough also received a check for $19,000 from Brown & Brown Insurance. The borough receives an annual check from their workers’ compensation insurance. This year’s dividend was the highest it has ever been.
Finally, the borough approved the preliminary 2020 budget. This budget will include a half-mills property tax increase. The final budget will be voted on during the borough’s Dec. 19 meeting.