The East Allen Township Board of Supervisors met Wednesday, December 13 to discuss the 2024 budget and a presentation from Traditions of America for a zoning amendment.
First, the board unanimously adopted the 2024 township budget with $3,999,839.68 in projected revenue and $4,246,577.68 in projected expenses.
The slight deficit will utilize existing fund balances for both the capital fund and liquid fuels with no revenue coming in for those expenditures.
The board also unanimously approved an ordinance establishing the 2024 general tax rate and a resolution establishing the 2024 fire hydrant tax. The budget has a 0% tax increase and will be the township’s 18th year of not raising taxes, keeping the tax millage rate at 6.5 mills, and also keeping the townships fire hydrant tax for properties within 780 feet of a fire hydrant at $30.
In other news, supervisors unanimously approved the appointment of an additional sewage enforcement officer to assist with permitting and percolation tests for sewage systems in the township at no extra cost.
Next, Traditions of America provided a presentation on the 250-acre site bordered on the east by Route 512 and on the west by Route 987.
Traditions of America was founded in 1997 to build 55+ lifestyle communities and have built eight 55+ communities in the Lehigh Valley.
The area of land is currently zoned agricultural/rural residential for the conditional use of age qualified or restricted residential community to accommodate a 55+ community.
Timothy McCarthy of Traditions of America explained that all public utilities are already at the site (sewer, water, electric and gas), and that it is rare to find a site that has all four elements of accessibility, roads, infrastructure and utilities already there, which makes it a prime site for development and residential growth within the township.
McCarthy presented that Traditions of America proposes the southwest quadrant (two-thirds of the property) be developed as a 55+ community, whereas the northeast corner would need to be rezoned for their proposed planned residential development that would have a mix of residential market rate units such as apartments, townhomes and single-family homes.
McCarthy identified that the site would require stormwater feature improvements that they are prepared for, but that the overall development plan has not been mapped out to definitively say how many units will be proposed.
Traditions of America requested the board grant them a public zoning hearing to consider the zoning amendment and allow them to begin communications with the township engineer, East Allen Township Planning Commission and Lehigh Valley Planning Commission to start the collaborative process in order to come up with the best plan for the township.
However, the motion to hold a public hearing failed 3-2 with supervisors Chris Cruz, Georgiann Hunsicker and Mark Schwartz voting against the hearing.
Traditions for America expressed that they intend to revise their development plans to accommodate several board members not being in favor of the proposed high-density apartment complex and bring their revised plans before the board again in the coming months.
In other business, supervisors unanimously voted to amend Section 220 Taxation Article VII related to the Volunteer Service Tax Credit Program, which provides volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel with 100% earned income tax and property tax credits based on specific eligibility criteria as an incentive to boost and maintain volunteerism.
The board tabled the recommendation to reject upcoming expiring subdivision and land development plans, as well as a resolution for the Moyer minor subdivision sewage planning module.
The East Allen Township Board of Supervisors will hold a reorganization meeting on Tuesday, January 2 at 7 p.m. and the next monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 10 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, located at 5344 Nor-Bath Blvd.