Jaindl said he was glad the case finally is coming to an end and glad it turned out the way it has.
“Our fight has not been in vain,” said Constance Moyer, one of the residents who sued the township, in a prepared statement. “We have had some of our concerns addressed and feel we have done as much as we can.”
Her statement said the lawsuit gave Jaindl time to rethink his subdivision plan and come up with another plan that is more “community friendly.” She indicated if township commissioners had done more negotiating with Jaindl years ago, the same plan might have been created, without the need for the “lengthy and costly fight.”
When the meeting ended, she said: “We didn’t get everything we wanted but we got a scaled-back plan.”
Other appellants are Ronald Moyer, Gerald and Karen Kronk and Joseph and Kimberly Castagna. Constance Moyer said the court case did not cost her and her husband anything, adding they were supported by “Friends of Lower Macungie” and others.
Rust told commissioners a lot of comments had been made during the litigation “that maybe should not have been made.”
Somach said commissioners who encouraged Jaindl to proceed with his Plan B, whether or not the appellants dropped their petition to the Supreme Court, may have been instrumental in creating the settlement.
“Credit is really not an issue here,” said Commissioner Ryan Conrad. “We’re just pleased that we’re coming to an end with this.”
In a news release, Jaindl said because commissioners asked him to continue to pursue Plan B, he is confident they will act favorably on the settlement agreement.
In August 2011, Lehigh County Judge Michele Varricchio ruled the township gave inadequate public notice of a proposed 2010 zoning change that paved the way for approval of Jaindl’s subdivision.
The township appealed to Commonwealth Court, which overturned Varricchio’s decision late last year. The residents appealed that Commonwealth Court ruling to the Supreme Court.
Last May, township commissioners approved Jaindl Land Company’s Spring Creek Properties subdivision No. 1, which surrounds Spring Creek Road just north of Alburtis.
Even though his subdivision had been approved by the township, Jaindl could not develop it or sell 12 commercial and industrial lots in the 621-acre property until he was sure the zoning that allowed it to be created would not be overturned by a court appeal.
So he took the appellants to court to recover some of his losses.
Earlier this month, Varricchio imposed a $275,000 bond on the residents if they intended to continue their appeal to the Supreme Court.
That meant they would have to pay Jaindl $275,000, plus his attorney fees, if they didn’t succeed in having their case heard by the Supreme Court.
“Since objectors did not wish to jeopardize their funds or those of their supporters in an appeal bond, it became impossible for objectors to continue their challenge to the 2010 rezoning of the farmland,” according to a news release from their lawyers.
“The continuation of litigation by the appellant would have been frivolous with no chance of success,” said Jaindl.