The November 11 meeting of the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors opened with the usual approval of the minutes from previous meetings and payment of bills. In planning-related items, there were approvals for waivers and deferrals for the Bowman minor subdivision and final approval for the Jason Hankee Lot Line Adjustment Plan. The Cherryville Turkey Hill Land Development Plan received final approval after some changes and Lehigh Township Elementary School received an extension of time to record their approved plan.
The Recreation Department reported that the Berlinsville Park concession stand is closed with the water turned off, cleaned and locked up. The stands at the parks in Danielsville and at Indian Trail Road are also closed for the winter.
Township Solicitor David Backenstoe said that he presented the changes to the Township’s short-term rental ordinance to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission who offered no comments or suggestions. Backenstoe said the ordinance has been advertised, fulfilling the legal obligation to do so, and is ready for adoption.
At this point, a representative for the Jaindl resort project on Cherryville Road wanted to clarify that they plan on having rental properties in residential neighborhoods on property. He said that the property will be “an enclosed Jaindl community with a homeowner’s association,” implying that such an arrangement would keep out trouble and disturbances to people who live in the area. Board Chairperson Cindy Miller disagreed.
“In my opinion, when a house becomes an Airbnb it becomes commercial, not residential,” she said. “Our residents do not want short-term rentals in residential areas.”
The Jaindl representative denied that the properties sounded like a “time-share” situation when questioned by a resident.
Ultimately, the board members and Backenstoe wanted to clarify that this issue is a separate one from the short-term rental ordinance that they would be voting to adopt. The changes to the ordinance, that for a property to operate as a bed and breakfast the owners must reside on premises and for a property to operate as a hotel it must have an office on site, passed unanimously and were adopted.
In other business, the 2021 budget is approved and ready to advertise and a motion to give turkeys to township employees as a show of appreciation passed.
Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month in the municipal building. Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, a teleconference option is available with the number listed on the township’s website.