Lehigh Valley

'Blighted' North Whitehall property slated for development

NORTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - A parcel of land on Crestwood Drive in North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, that has sat undeveloped for more than three decades is tentatively slated for two modest-sized homes in the near future.

A homeowners association proposed the land for use as a township park but the property has sat dormant for 30 years, according to North Whitehall Township manager, Jeff Bartlett.

The property is owned by the Schneck family, who will present proposals to build two homes on the property that will blend into the fabric of the neighborhood.

"It was proposed as a playground by an HOA 30 years ago and it's been sitting there with nothing being done with it," Bartlett said. "The township doesn't want it and the township doesn't need another park. This is a way of getting rid of a blighted property. The township feels this is a good solution."

A Lehigh County Authority emergency pumping station sits on the parcel and an easement will allow it to stay in place.

"Eighty-five to 90 percent of the people in the area that will be affected by this have signed off on it," Bartlett said of the plan.

The property owners will need to present sketch plans and land development plans to the North Whitehall Township Planning Commission.

In other business, Bartlett said the public works department will continue to investigate ways to improve traffic flow at the intersection of Oakland and Mulberry streets.

Bartlett told supervisors that the current stop sign is not on the proper street on the 'T' intersection, which is causing minor accidents and several near-misses.

Bartlett said a full diagram spelling out proposed changes to the intersection will be presented to supervisors at their next meeting.

Elsewhere, Bartlett reminded residents in attendance that the Tex's Smokin' Bar-B-Q truck can continue to operate across from the Hunsicker Funeral Home on the northwest corner of Route 309 and Shankweiler Road, during operator Tex Wells' zoning hearing appeal.

Wells is seeking a special exemption to continue operating the mobile business.

The zoning appeal hearing, first heard in April, resumes May 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Supervisors said a special meeting to award bids for the 2014 in-place paving season will be held May 20 at 4 p.m. 

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