During the Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, February 22, attorneys and developers representing the Fuller Family Trust and Willow Brook Farms presented their updated plans for a mixed-use village on the site of the historic farm.
In 2018, the Fuller Family Trust filed a curative amendment against the township, requesting that it amend its zoning and land development ordinances to allow for the development. Tuesday’s brief presentation was part of this public curative amendment hearing. Developers said they didn’t expect the supervisors to cast their deciding vote on the amendments but instead review their progress.
The Allen Township Planning Commission recommended the approval of both amendments but withheld any decision on the height of the property’s planned apartment buildings.
Supervisor and Township Fire Chief Dale Hassler still had concerns over the height of the proposed buildings. He says anything over two stories tall is “unacceptable” when it comes to the safety of township residents. The revised plans showed three-story apartments, including a lower-level garage.
Developers said they are still “working” on updating this portion of the plan. Hassler told them to look at nearby Willow Ridge as an example.
Developers asked the township to give them about 10 days to review supervisors’ feedback and revise their plans to ensure “everything is done right.”
Jim Constantine, the author of the revised plan, presented other development highlights before the board. Roughly 50 percent of the development will be open space. The kiln and barns on the property will be preserved, with the latter buildings turned into commercial space. Meanwhile, roughly 700 residential units are planned. Parking will be restricted to the rear of the residential units to make for a more “pedestrian-friendly” development. Connections to nearby trails are also proposed.
Developers will return before the Board of Supervisors on March 22.
In other news, discussion surrounding the township’s joint Act 537 Plan continued. Engineer Andrea Martin asked supervisors to decide between two options: remain connected with the existing sewer service area in Northampton Borough, or redirect sewer flow to Catasauqua.
Last month, Northampton agreed to upgrade their sewer plant to allow for additional capacity from Allen Township. Currently, 325 EDUs are available. According to Martin, developers who need them should be able to request them from the borough.
Solicitor Lincoln Treadwell said remaining connected to Northampton is the most practical option, as redirecting flow to Catasauqua would require the township to construct its own pump station.
“Let [us] not do that until we have to,” he said.
Supervisors agreed. However, the sewer rate agreement with Northampton Borough is still in litigation, and no public information on what a future rate may look like is yet available.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be on March 8 at 7 p.m.