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Lehigh Valley

FedEx mega hub in Allen Township nears final decision

ALLEN TWP., Pa. - Allen Township officials have until August 15 to decide the fate of the proposed $335 million FedEx Ground hub under dispute in Northampton County.

At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, representatives discussed the final recommendations for the development made by the Allen Township Planning Commission, but took no further action in the approval process in spite of the looming deadline.

On the agenda were preliminary land development plans for the FedEx Ground Hub as well as the Rockefeller industrial subdivision, with developers seeking numerous code waivers, exceptions and draft conditions.

The supervisors though opted to defer on these items, providing little comment on the list of recommendations by the planning commission.

"This is a two year project at a minimum," said Supervisor Alfred Pierce of the anticipated 2016 mega hub opening. "I don't think we need to make a motion tonight."

During the meeting some residents continued to challenge the readiness of the project.

Local resident Robert Nappa expressed disappointment that township officials did not incorporate a review of the traffic impact report of the project conducted by Gilmore & Associates.

"It's strange to me that it was delivered to the planning commission and it's not a part of this project package," said Nappa of the June 13 analysis of alleged deficiencies in the report commissioned by developer Rockefeller.  

Township officials though rebuked the accusations, saying that staff members of Allen Township, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation all reviewed and dismissed the analysis by Filmore & Associates.

Also among the discussion topics was the recommendation of having sidewalks running from Road A to the bottom limits of the township.

Officials debated whether they would prevent or precipitate dangerous pedestrian activity.

"You don't know right now if people are going to be walking there," said Supervisor Dale Hassler. "I think for safety we really should have the sidewalks running along there."

Allen officials also received six unspecified conditions for the project from neighboring Hanover Township, represented by Attorney J. Jackson Eaton.

Township supervisors discussed how cooperation between the two municipalities was essential to the process.

"To me a lot of it hinges on what Hanover requires," said Supervisor Larry Oberly of the current standstill in the decision making process. "I don't see a problem responding positively to [their conditions]."

The board will meet next on August 14, just a day before its deadline to accept or reject final approval for the project.

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