Macungie Manor senior living complex Lower Macungie South Whitehall

LOWER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. – The Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners held a conditional use public hearing on the proposed Lower Macungie Manor project Thursday night.

The conditional use plan, created by developer Abraham Atiyeh who owns the Manors of the Valley, features a life care complex to be built on about 18.8 acres. It features four buildings, including a potential memory care facility, two assisted living buildings and a clubhouse.

The site, located off Hillview Road and Kressler Road, rests along Interstate 78. Zoning wise, the property is located in the Suburban Residential District. It is a conditional use per the township's zoning laws.

The project is located in both Lower Macungie and South Whitehall townships. The majority of the project, about 14.9 acres, is in Lower Macungie, with the remaining 3.9 acres in South Whitehall.

The project's one-story residential structure would be located in South Whitehall, while the two assisted living buildings are on the Lower Macungie side. The 5,400-foot clubhouse will encompass both townships.

The zoning district establishes a 35-foot height limit on any structure. In total, the proposed project in Lower Macungie features a total of 172 units distributed equally over the two buildings at 86 units per building.

During testimony Thursday night, William Erdman, who serves as the project's engineer, discussed the findings of a shadow study to ascertain shadow cast by the potential buildings on nearby existing homes. The shadow casting reviewed the sun's shadows at four different times of the calendar year on the winter, spring, summer and fall equinox and solstice. The solar studies indicate the construction will not cut the sunlight on surrounding properties, Erdman said.

Erdman was the first and only witness to testify after two hours of questioning from Atiyeh's attorney Blake Marles and members of the public who were granted standing.

During various points Thursday night, Marles noted the proceedings were for the project's conditional use. The discussion did not include land development plans.

Around 9:15 p.m., the board went into executive session and emerged roughly five minutes later, indicating the public hearing will reconvene at on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.

During the approval process which has transpired over the last several months, the top two concerns from township officials were traffic and stormwater management, according to Bryan McAdam, the township's engineer.

The major issues brought up previously by residents were speeding, pedestrian safety and quality of life concerns. Specifically, shortcut traffic was cited as a concern by some residents who spoke at a Nov. 10 planning commission meeting on the project. At that meeting, the commission recommended the project's approval with various conditions.

In other news, commissioners appointed incumbents Jon Hammer and Al Perez to the planning commission. Both terms are scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2025.

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