During their meeting on Tuesday, November 14, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors approved Phase 2 of a five-phase subdivision plan that first received preliminary approval over 16 years ago.
High Meadow Estates Subdivision has been in the works since at least 2006 and has gone through several different developers. OH-IHM Holdings currently owns the property and was represented by solicitor Joel Wiener during the November 14 meeting. The project was delayed for several reasons, among them an EDU conflict between Allen Township and the Northampton Borough Municipal Authority.
The preliminary/final plan approval of Phase 2 would allow water, sewer and roadways to tie into the previously approved Phase 1. Wiener acknowledged that the project has been ongoing for “a while,” but approval would allow for a more seamless continuation.
Supervisor Dale Hassler is the only current member of the Board of Supervisors to have also served on the board when the project was first approved.
“This thing has been dragging on,” he said. He said the developer had the opportunity to buy the EDUs but did not.
Afraid the development may be left stagnant or even abandoned, he requested that OH-IHM maintain ownership of the development’s pump station and sewer lines until all five phases are complete. Only then will the township take ownership. Maintenance, repairs and labor costs would remain the responsibility of the development’s HOA. Wiener agreed to this condition.
Hassler also requested that the development’s fire hydrant plan be brought up to current standards and that the township assign road names and house numbers.
The largest point of contention, however, was the recreation fee. When the preliminary plan was approved years ago, the township’s recreation fee was $1,000 per lot. That fee is now $3,000 per lot. Wiener said the developer would be willing to compromise and pay $1,500 per lot.
“This plan sat,” said Hassler, wanting to hold the developer responsible for the $3,000 fee. “It was not the township’s fault.”
Wiener countered by saying the development will have open space and recreational paths, and developers are not asking for credit back from the township.
Supervisor Gary Behler said the $500 extra per lot was better than the original agreement and suggested his fellow supervisors agree to move forward and prevent any potential legal issues under the Municipal Planning Code.
Following Behler’s motion to approve Phase 2, all supervisors voted in favor.
In other news, engineer Stan Wojciechowski presented updated plans for a traffic control measure at East Bullshead and Willowbrook roads. Since the onslaught of warehouses in the township, numerous tractor-trailers have used East Bullshead Road as a shortcut and have become stuck under an old trestle, causing headaches for neighbors and first responders.
Constructing a center median at the end of East Bullshead Road would create an island, making it difficult for any vehicle over 43 feet to turn onto the road, whether they’re traveling north or south on Willowbrook. The median will use 8-inch-high curbing and have flexible delineators.
“If they’re a 53-foot-long truck, it is going to be very problematic,” said Wojciechowski. Fire trucks, however, can still make the turn.
Construction costs are estimated to be $50,000 to $60,000, and engineering costs are estimated at $11,000.
Supervisors unanimously approved this new traffic control measure. Construction will start in the spring.
Finally, supervisors approved the 2024 budget. Tax millage will remain at 5%.
The next Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting will be Tuesday, November 28 at 6 p.m. Residents should be aware that all meetings starting in January 2024 will be held in the old township building on Indian Trail Road while the current building on Howertown Road is under construction.