During their March 22 meeting, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors continued to hear the curative amendment case brought before them by Willow Brook Farms and the Fuller Family Trust, developers of a proposed mixed-use subdivision. This hearing was continued from February 22.
The original curative amendment was filed in 2018 by the developers. It requested an amendment to the township’s land development ordinance, allowing for the construction of the mixed-use subdivision. Earlier this year, the township’s planning commission recommended approval.
The first concern preventing supervisors from approving the ordinance was the height of the residential apartment buildings. Supervisor Dale Hassler did not want buildings over two stories due to fire safety concerns. Representatives from Willow Brook Farms returned to the board with a revised plan that includes two-story buildings with pitched roofs. Access for fire vehicles and ladders will be available from the road, as well as flat areas to the rear of the buildings.
Township solicitor Lincoln Treadwell worked these adjustments into a revised ordinance that would limit the height of buildings to two stories, or 45 feet from the finished grade.
“We are satisfied with that language,” Attorney Marc Kaplin, representing Willow Brook Farms, said. “We can make the project work in a very good manner.”
This updated ordinance was approved unanimously.
The second ordinance, updating the township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) to allow for a mixed-use property of townhomes, single-family homes, and retail businesses was also unanimously approved.
Resident Gene Clater, former head of the township’s planning commission, asked supervisors to consider changes to their ordinance that would limit similar properties in other areas of the township, specifically to the north of Route 329.
He also asked supervisors to approach Northampton County about widening the Willowbrook Road bridge at Bullshead Road due to an influx of expected traffic from this new development. The bridge is slated for repair by the county, but as of now will remain a two-lane bridge. Clater said a three-lane bridge is necessary.
Nearly half of the traffic traveling north on Willowbrook Road, he explained, will turn left onto Bullshead. This will cause major delays and backups because there is no left-turn lane.
Supervisor Gary Behler agreed.
“A third lane is absolutely going to be needed,” he said. “Especially if this development goes through…so much more traffic there is going to be making a left-hand turn, it is going to be ridiculous.”
The township has $1 million in escrow from a previous developer for road improvements. Clater said supervisors should use this money to pay for the third lane.
Supervisors unanimously agreed and motioned to ask the county for a third, left-turn lane on Willowbrook Road with their $1 million contribution.
“It is going to be a big benefit, not only to our residents but to every [driver] who travels that road,” said Behler.