Jaindl estimated farming most of the property gives him a profit of $50,000-$65,000. He and Kaplin indicated they came up with the $500,000 bond request by subtracting the farming profit from that $561,885.
Jaindl testified he has been involved in all aspects of land development for 35-40 years. He said his company has 356 different farms in four counties.
He owns about 800 acres in Lower Macungie, including 700 that are the subject of the appeal. He said his father acquired most the land in the 1980s for land development and farming. He estimated 85 percent of the property is farmland.
Jaindl explained 621 of those 700 acres have been subdivided into 14 individual lots. Two lots will be preserved as open space and 12 will be sold for commercial and industrial uses.
Even though that project, known as Spring Creek Properties No. 1, was approved by township commissioners last May, Jaindl said “we can’t sell it and we can’t market it” because he can’t proceed with developing the subdivision.
He said there has been substantial interest in the properties, adding his company is speaking with potential buyers every week. But he said no credible developer will enter into an agreement of sale for lots if the zoning issue involving those lots is up in the air.
He explained the $12 million in improvements he must make to the subdivision include extending existing public roads, creating new roads, adding stormwater management facilities, and extending utilities through the site.
He can’t get a loan to make those improvements because “no responsible lender would lend you money for improvements on industrial/ commercial lands that may not be industrial/commercial lands next week.”
In January, Jaindl told township commissioners he would scale back on the intensity of development in the subdivision if opponents dropped their appeal to the Supreme Court.
But Kaplin said Miles’ clients rejected that suggestion in writing.
In response to questions by Miles, Jaindl said the development costs for that revised but unapproved plan would be “a little less” than the estimated $12 million for construction costs in the approved plan.
Lower Macungie commissioner James Lancsek attended the hearing.