Lehigh Valley

New home development plan moves foward in Bethlehem Township

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. - You can't stop progress.

That was the theme of Monday night's Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners meeting as the five-member body unanimously approved an ordinance that would amend the township's zoning ordinance and pave the way for the massive Madison Farms home development off the north side of Freemansburg Avenue near Emrick Boulevard.

"It's another step moving into the future," noted Commissioner Thomas Nolan.

Specifically the ordinance approved Monday night modifies the "Mixed-Use Village Overlay" and "Streetscape Overlay" districts, among others that "increase flexibility in the design of site plans, subdivisions and land developments: repealing ordinances, resolutions, or parts thereof in conflict" with them.

The 837-home development includes a community pool, pedestrian walkways and ponds, according to testimony given Monday night by Thomas Comitta, a consultant to the township's Planning Commission.

Comitta noted that the Madison Farms plan was "for the good of the community and the public at large" and noted it was a superior plan to 2007's Field of Dreams, the previous plans to the site.

During Monday night's public hearing township resident Donald Lock said the plan would not benefit the township and urged commissioners to oppose it.

In other business Monday night, the commissioners voted to drop their lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania over the Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

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