Lower Mac planners ok land requests for Hamilton Crossings project

LOWER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - The Lower Macungie Planning Commission approved three out of the four requests to develop land for the proposed Hamilton Crossings shopping complex at Tuesday night's meeting.

Two of the requests involve a lot adjustment and land development near the Opperman Mobile Home Park, in the northwest and southwest area of the proposed shopping complex, and the other on the east side of the shopping complex, next to the proposed outdoor park.

Also approved was a subdivision of a lot owned by the Allentown Catholic Diocese next to the shopping complex.

Discussed in detail during the meeting was the aesthetic development of a piece of land. Part of the area would serve as a landscaped gathering place for the public with trees and tables. It would also accommodate outside benches, areas for dining and four walking areas.

"I'm pretty well satisfied with the level of amenities," said DIrector of Planning Sara Pandl.

Dave Horn, architect for the project, said the area will also include a park equipped with baseball and softball fields. Horn said the overall quality of the park would not be adversely affected.

"We have little impact on the recreational aspects of the park," he said.

Horn also said a rain garden will be added which will include various plants along with shade and evergreen trees and ornamental shrubs.

Jeremy Fogel of Goldenberg Group told the planning commission maintenance of the various amenities will be the responsibility of Hamilton Crossings. He added the developer will make every effort to maintain the aesthetic quality of the area.

"The main issue was to have consistency aesthetically and we will try to achieve that," he said.

"Conceptually, I think you hear we're in line with where you're going," Irvin Kester, member of the planning commission, told representatives of Hamilton Crossings.

The planning commission tabled the vote on development of the northwest and east area of the complex until a future meeting.

Costco, Whole Foods and Target will be included in the proposed development.

Also during the meeting, the planning commission postponed voting on the development of four lots on the Spring Creek property.

Three lots would be reserved for warehouses ranging in size from 650,000 square feet to 1.2 million square feet and a 10,000 square foot office building.

Macungie Borough Council President Chris Becker said the growth of Lower Macungie in recent years has led to increased traffic in Macungie.

He cautioned the planning commission to consider how the warehouses and office building will affect communities like Macungie.

"The fact is our traffic has greatly increased as the township has grown," he said.

Tractor trailer traffic will be capped to 4,000 monthly through Spring Creek Road.

"Spring Creek [Road] is not suitable to truck traffic," said Alburtis resident David Lehr.

"We worked very hard from the transportation standpoint to minimize the impact of traffic," Irvine responded.

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