A public hearing between Allen Township and Willowbrook Farms will be held on February 22 at 7 p.m. This hearing comes after the township’s planning commission recommended two draft ordinances to resolve zoning challenges filed by Willowbrook Farms in May 2019.
In 2019, Willowbrook Farms and the Fuller Family Trust requested a curative amendment to allow the developers to build low-density properties for multi-family use across 80 acres, along with 55 acres of 55-and-older properties. The entire plan called for 800 units, including duplexes, townhomes, and three-story apartment buildings. At the time, Allen Township supervisors worried about the density of the area and the safety of the three-story buildings.
Gene Clater, a former member of the township’s planning commission for over 40 years, spoke before the township’s board of supervisors during their February 8 meeting. He asked that supervisors consider where the Willowbrook Road bridge falls into the new agreement with developers.
When the current warehouses along Willowbrook Road were still in development, Clater said the former board decided against a three-lane bridge. However, an increase in traffic from the Willowbrook Farms development will make an improvement necessary.
“What is being done to ensure that traffic [from the apartments] does not become a problem with that bridge?” he asked.
He recommended the board add expanding the bridge as a condition for developers.
“Look at that bridge when you have a developer on the hook,” he said. “You know this [traffic] is coming.”
Truck traffic issues were also discussed during the February 8 meeting. The township has reached out to the state regarding dump truck traffic on Kreidersville and Seemsville Roads. They have also requested law enforcement.
Township Manager Ilene Eckhart said the dump trucks typically become a seasonal issue as they bring coal ash down from the coal region. However, because both roads are state roads, the township must get PennDOT’s involvement.
Clater, who lives near these routes, said he hears the trucks breaking through all hours of the night. Because jake breaks are prohibited on these roads, he said PennDOT may finally agree to collaborate with the township and evaluate truck traffic issues.
Finally, the township continues to move ahead with its Joint Act 537 plan with Northampton Borough. Following a meeting between council members, engineers, borough officials, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Northampton will be upgrading its sewer plant to provide for capacity from Allen Township.
Allen Township is still in discussion with neighboring Catasauqua Borough to determine whether they can hook up to their sewer plant for additional capacity for future EDU needs, including EDUs for the future Willowbrook Farms development.
The draft Act 537 plan is due to the DEP by March 3. The final plan must be adopted by the board by May 20.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be on Tuesday, February 22 at 7 p.m.