Activists seeking to save the historic King George Inn from the wrecking ball received a shot in the arm during Wednesday night's South Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners' meeting when they learned that Thursday night's zoning hearing board meeting on the matter will be continued.
The delay was prompted by a meeting that featured township manager Jon Hammer, Solicitor Joseph Zator, developer Atul Patel, his attorney and the owner of the King George and his legal counsel.
"It was that meeting that really has resulted in this continuance," said Zator."I can report that Mr. Patel was receptive to the concerns of the board and citizens about preserving the King George Inn. Obviously no promises have been made at this point but demolition of The King George Inn is not imminent. But he's gone back to look at this situation and see if there is possibly a way that the historic structure could be preserved."
The announcement was followed by applause from those in attendance, thrilled at the prospect, for the time being at least, that their cause has gained some traction.
No date was given at Wednesday night's meeting when the issue would appear before the zoning hearing board by either Hammer or Zator.
Patel has proposed demolishing the 257-year old structure located at the corner of Cedar Crest and Hamilton boulevards as part of a development that would feature a restaurant, bank and pharmacy. He is seeking zoning relief to move forward with the proposal.
And yet another developer made news during the meeting when it was announced that David Jaindl would be introducing "a new element" to his plan to renovate Shoemaker's used auto dealer in conjunction with his Hills at Winchester development, according to Gerald Harbison, assistant director of community development.
Harbison remained tight-lipped about Jaindl's new wild card, but said the developer wished to garner feedback from nearby residents during a meeting which was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday night at the township building.
The Shoemaker dealership, at 4131 Walbert Avenue, is currently a non-conforming use in an area zoned residential, but was grandfathered years ago.