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UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. – Upper Macungie Township is one step closer to getting a new community center.

The township's planning commission granted preliminary/final approval Wednesday night for a subdivision and land development plan for the community center, to be located at 340 Grange Road and 6914 Ruppsville Road. It will feature a nearly 192,000-square-foot indoor recreational facility.

The project includes a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Lenape Trail and Grange Road, which was the aspect that caused the most concern Wednesday night among the planning commission and neighboring residents.

The township maintained the roundabout will help assist traffic coming to and leaving the site, serving as a traffic-calming device and ultimately providing a safer motoring environment.

Chairman Charles Deprill said in spite of concerns about the roundabout, the project was in compliance with the township's SALDO, or Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, requirements. As such, the planning commission had no legal basis to deny it.

He added the planning commission had no oversight of the facility's operations. However, Deprill noted that residents could petition supervisors with their opinions about the community center at the legislative body's Oct. 7 meeting.

The planning commission found itself in an unusual situation Wednesday night. Typically, it is an advisory committee only, with final approval powers designated to the board of supervisors.

In the case of the community center, however, the township is submitting the plan, and therefore, the supervisors could have conflict of interest by sitting in judgment of it. As such, the planning commission served as the approving body for the project.

Ambassador Drive warehouse

In other news, the commission approved a sketch plan for a proposed 154,000-square-foot warehouse located at 7034 Ambassador Drive in the Iron Run development.

The applicant, MilliporeSigma, owns and operates the facility immediately east at 6950 Ambassador Drive. The company provides scientists and engineers with laboratory equipment and materials. The plant is located in Upper Macungie's Light Industrial Zone.

The Towns at Schaefer Run

Finally, the board gave its approval to a preliminary land development plan for the west and south phases of The Towns at Schaefer Run. The plan calls for the construction of 128 townhouse units within two phases on parcels located near the intersections of the Route 100 bypass and Weilers and Schaefer Run roads in Breinigsville.

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