During the August 11 East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors rejected a waiver for Airport Road Lot 1 in a 2-2 vote. Developers were requesting 12-inch frost footings as opposed to 30-inch footings, which the township requires.
The 12-inch footings were already installed along the warehouse’s development at Airport Road and the Nor-Bath Trail in 2018 due to oversight after Northampton County approved them in 2017. These footings are placed below the frost line to help provide extra stability. Removing these footings now, said developers and attorney Lisa Pereira, would compromise the trail.
Township engineer James Milot said that 30-inch footings are better for maintenance, but they are not a maintenance obligation for the township. Instead, if the footings were to fail, it would be up to the county and the developer to remediate the issue.
“Evidently, it ends up becoming our issue,” said Supervisor Chris Cruz. “I am very uncomfortable unless we get a letter that [the county] prefers the 12-inch over the 30.”
Cruz and Supervisor Georgiann Hunsicker voted “no” on the waiver. Supervisors Don Heiney and Mark Schwartz voted “yes.” Supervisor Roger Unangst was absent.
Developers will return on August 26 to be heard again in front of a full board.
Developers warned supervisors that, should the footers have to be removed, a half-mile of the Nor-Bath Trail will be destroyed out of necessity.
In other news, supervisors debated the demolition of the old stone farmhouse that sits at the corner of Weaversville Road and Colony Drive.
Hunsicker voiced her opposition to the move.
“The history here is being lost,” she said. She added that members of the township have offered to volunteer their time to repair the building.
Cruz agreed. He said he is trying to get a committee together to look for grants and donations.
“There is a way to get this done and make it presentable to the township,” he said.
However, public works members worried that the stone house is blocking the line-of-sight for drivers turning on to Weaversville Road, causing safety issues.
Supervisors tabled the discussion for a later date, but line-of-sight safety brought up another discussion amongst supervisors after it was discovered that public works was going to cut down trees on the opposite corner of the stone home, on private property that belongs to a former township supervisor.
“I think people should know that there are people getting trees cut down for free when others are paying $10,000,” said Hunsicker.
“Just because you were a supervisor or because you know somebody, you should not get trees cut down at taxpayer expense,” she continued.
Township Manager Brent Green committed to the board that public works would not remove the trees until after the supervisors’ next meeting, during which time supervisors can workshop a policy for private property owners.
Finally, the township is still looking for residents who are interested in completing the River Central Comprehensive Plan survey. This survey will help inform future development in East Allen and neighboring municipalities. The survey can be found at planrivercentral.org.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on August 26 at 7 p.m.