During their July 12 meeting, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors reviewed the most recent sketch plan of the Stone Ridge Meadows development, Phases 3, 4, and 5. Keystone Consulting Engineers is the team of engineers behind the expanded development along Savage Road and Route 329. Tim Livengood is the developer. Supervisors reviewed the plan and shared their concerns, including traffic and drainage issues.
The new sketch plan proposes 84 residential units in Allen Township. These will join the roughly 100 twin homes already in the development. The development is bordered by Route 329 to the North, Savage Road to the East, and Horwith Road to the West. The plans also propose commercial fronting that features a 6,000 square-foot convenience market, a drive-thru bank, a 6,000 square-foot fast food restaurant, a 24,000 square-foot medical office, and a 67,000 square-foot self-storage facility.
Supervisor Dale Hassler was wary of two roads exiting the development onto Horwith Road within 150 feet from one another. He said this could create traffic issues. Supervisor Gary Behler echoed this concern, adding that he would like to see traffic flowing in and out of the convenience market from Savage Road using right turns only to prevent accidents.
Behler also inquired about sidewalks, which were absent from the plan. Livengood said swails, berms, and a water line on Savage Road make sidewalk construction difficult. However, Behler and other supervisors said they would prefer sidewalks because of the development’s proximity to Howertown Park.
Finally, Keystone and Livengood expressed concerns with the township’s restriction of 40% impervious coverage. The engineering team questioned whether impervious coverage should be the responsibility of the lot owners, which Behler and his fellow supervisors vehemently denied.
“The lot owners that live there now had a lot of burden [placed] on them that should not have been,” Behler said, adding that he would vote against any plan that places the burden of stormwater drainage onto residents.
Behler’s concerns stem from severe stormwater issues Phase 1 residents faced in 2019. Dozens of residents reported drainage issues and stagnant water, which prompted the Northampton County Conservation District to issue a Department of Environmental Protection violation to the developer.
Stone Ridge resident Jane Snyder was present at the meeting. She saw firsthand the development’s stormwater issues, adding she has experienced “a whole lot of problems” she was not expecting when purchasing her home. She said she wants developers to fix the issues Stone Ridge is already facing before expanding.
Representatives from Keystone said they will consider all of the board’s comments as they revise their plan.
In other news, an ad hoc committee met to discuss possible improvements to Howertown Park. This meeting was held on Monday, July 11, and was open to the public. Behler and Supervisor Paul Link were present at the committee meeting and reported their findings to the board.
Short-term improvements include new key-fob entrances at the field house, a bulletin board, and a gang box for soccer equipment. Long-term enhancements include sports facilities for volleyball, tennis, and pickleball; shade canopies at the soccer field; dugouts and homerun fencing; and a batting cage.
These long-term improvements, said Link, would require an engineering study.
“If we are going to invest in this park…there should be somebody who designs parks…to figure out how to fit [everything] in there,” he said.
Link said the township should move forward carefully to ensure everything is done correctly instead of rushing to make improvements for the fall sports season.
“Maybe we take the time now and really give [the teams] what they want in the spring,” he said.
The board agreed, unanimously voting to handle the “low hanging fruit” immediately, including adding a park bulletin board, new key fobs, and a gang box. Meanwhile, Township Manager Ilene Eckhart said she will gather historic plans of the park to help engineers determine easements. She will also send out a survey to residents for their input and ideas.
Finally, supervisors agreed that the new EDU tapping fees for developers will go into effect in September. A vote to implement this fee increase will happen on September 13. This extension will give developers who previously struggled to acquire EDUs time to secure them before the rate increase occurs. Allen Township’s tapping fee will now be $1,300, in addition to the fees charged by Northampton Borough.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be Tuesday, July 26, at 7 p.m.