Another point of contention is a traffic roundabout proposed by the planning commission.
It would be on the shopping center property between the Krocks Road entrance and the Target, one of Hamilton Crossings’ three anchor stores.
Planners cited the roundabout in the Promenade shopping center in Upper Saucon Township as an example of what they would like.
“You folks have brought up the Promenade on a regular basis,” Keister told the developers. “You go from one end of that to the other with roundabouts and you don’t have trucks mixing with the cars or pedestrians.”
“It’s not a design that we like,” said Fogel.
Robert indicated the developers don’t like the roundabout because of truck traffic, but he said trucks will be able to access the shopping center’s stores via other roads without going through the roundabout.
He questioned whether the developers want trucks in front of stores, mixing with cars and pedestrians.
“It seems like, if we keep trucks out of there, the roundabout would work,” said Keister.
Fogel said trucks aren’t the only issue. Another is the size the roundabout would have to be to accommodate traffic. He said there is no “traffic reason to install it.” He indicated Target’s management also took issue with the roundabout proposal.
Keister asked the developers about progress to get a more upscale design for the facade of the Costco, the most highly anticipated anchor store in Hamilton Crossings.
Fogel said a request has been sent to Costco in response to “significant comments” the developers recently have received about the appearance of the proposed building, “to see what they would be willing to do in terms of change to their building and their gas facilities.” He said no response has been received yet.
“The facade they propose is a lot different than the rest of the center,” said Pandl.
Ron Beitler, township commissioner-elect, said Lower Macungie was sold “a town center concept” by the developers when they were “trying to win the hearts and minds of the public for TIF funding.”
“A certain quality was being sold to us and now we’re hearing that this might change.”
Beitler wants to see more artists’ renderings of more areas of Hamilton Crossings so the public is assured the entire shopping center will be “the same level of quality we were sold.”
Fogel said the renderings made public were part of the approvals already received from the township “and we’re obligated to deliver those. The images we presented to you are still our commitment to deliver.”
After the meeting, Doughty said the Promenade shopping center “may not be ideal but it’s certainly nice, and walkable.” He predicted the design of Hamilton Crossings will be less like the Promenade and more like a larger version of the Crest Plaza Shopping Center in South Whitehall Township, which has a Target.
Robert said another area of concern is why the township should own sewer lines that only serve the shopping center development. Township engineer William Erdman said Lower Macungie would maintain those sewers, but the developer would pay for their operation and maintenance.
Purpose of planning meeting
Lower Macungie commissioners gave Hamilton Crossings conditional use approval last week. The project now is moving into the land development approval process with the planning commission, which ultimately will make a recommendation to township commissioners.
Tuesday’s discussion focused on details.
Pandl told the planning commission members they would be looking at some specific design issues that have come up as the land development plan has evolved, so the developers can move forward to fully develop plans.
The developers wanted clarification on design details before they prepare and submit those more detailed plans, explained Pandl and Erdman.
“This is such a large project that it’s kind of nice to be able take bite-size pieces of it,” said Pandl.