SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - The Lehigh Valley is growing economically, and with that comes increased development.
Some of that is expected to transform much of South Whitehall Township. This after its largest landowner recently gave a glimpse of what could come.
The front-door view from Bill Stanley's South Whitehall Township home hasn't changed since 1956, except for the old stone farmhouses.
"Believe it or not they were built before the Civil War," Stanley said.
Decay has set in. Many along Mauch Chunk Road sit empty. Stanley would like to see them saved.
The mostly agrarian landscape is endangered too.
Back in October the township's largest landowner, the Bronstein family, presented ideas about developing the land. They own more than a thousand acres, basically running from Cedar Crest Blvd. north to Orefield Road and then east to Mauch Chunk Road.
President of the township board of commissioners Christina "Tori" Morgan says she expects a mix of residential, industrial, and greenspace, but plans remain unclear.
The family also owns the land where the massive Ridge Farms development is going.
This all comes as the township is in midst of updating its comprehensive plan, where the public has a say, as do developers.
"Vision for the future is whatever is ultimately allowed on those properties fits in with the design and structure of the township as we see it," Morgan said.
The Bronstein's attorney said the family isn't yet ready to comment.
As for Stanley, his view is zoned industrial. If the land can't be saved, he's hoping a few farmhouses can be.
"It's a win-win for everyone. Why would you want to destroy the farm houses. We are losing more and more of them," Stanley said.