Sounding frustrated, Riggins said when he last brought Concordia’s plans to the planning commission, he asked for preliminary/final approval because he thought it was a very straightforward plan, but added: “I came away from that meeting confused.”

Riggins asked for preliminary approval Tuesday night, but the church’s plan was tabled.

Irvin Keister, chairman of the planning commission, said he could not see moving forward until the right-of-way issue is resolved.

The township has a macadam multi-use trail running along the front of the church, apparently within the 40-foot-wide right-of-way. Planners indicated it was one of the earlier walking/biking paths in a township now laced with them.

After the meeting, Pandl said the township will review initial development plans for Concordia to confirm the amount of right-of-way granted in initial agreements.

Planner George Doughty said if that path is not within township’s right-of-way, the church could put up signs and block people from using it.

Doughty also said the church could be liable if someone should get hurt on the path, if it is not in the township right-of-way. He said it would be in the church’s interest for that path to be in the right-of-way.

Life Church Macungie near Trexlertown

The new church, called Life Church Macungie, plans to open in autumn, although the just-approved parking lot won’t be constructed by then.

That lot, which will have 127 spaces, will be in addition to an already-approved, 59-space lot just south of the church.

The planning commission recommended final approval to township commissioners for Life Church to build the parking lot and to combine that 2.9-acre vacant lot with the 1.7-acre site where the former Roller Motion skating rink is being converted into a 20,000-square-foot church.

A driveway along the rear of the building will connect the two parking lots.

Mark Bahnick of Van Cleef Engineering Associates, the project engineer, said the new church will get public water and sewer when the already-approved Trexler Senior Living Center development is built on the other side of Trexlertown Road.

The church will seat up to 400 people, which is why Pandl said a second parking lot and public water and sewer service are needed.

Bahnick said the congregation, with worships on Saturday nights, has been renting space for 15 years in Macungie Church of the Nazarene at 3800 Brookside Road in the township.

He said the building renovations are about 80 percent complete, adding the floor of the skating rink has been preserved.

Despite its name, the new church is much closer to the village of Trexlertown then it is to the borough of Macungie.

Assistant township engineer Alan Fornwalt said a 6-foot-wide macadam pathway will run along the front of the Life Church property – in the right-of-way.