Lehigh Valley

Northampton Borough Council signals preference for project

NORTHAMPTON, Pa. - Northampton Borough Council signaled its preference for single-family homes versus an over-55 community for phase two of the Willow Brook Farm development Thursday.

Bob Dwyer, a consultant for the project, came to the meeting to see what kind of development the council might support before moving forward with a formal land development plan. An over-55 community would have required a zoning change for the 11 acres at Howertown Road and East Fourth Street, while single homes are allowed in the R1 zoning district.

Early last year, the council approved 11 single-family homes in the first phase of the Willow Brook Farm development. The majority of the 152 homes are in North Catasauqua.

Dwyer said he would follow the council's leanings. He noted that the over-55 community, while requiring rezoning, would have no school-age children to add to the Northampton Area School District and the roads would be maintained privately and not dedicated to the borough. The over-55 community would also provide six aces of open space.

President Anthony Lopsonzski Jr. suggested the council take a straw poll to gauge its preference, and that ultimately pointed to single-family homes.

Council members Anthony Lopsonzski Sr. and Edward Pany said that people who own their own homes take good care of their properties.

Outside the meeting, Dwyer said his plan would likely have 57 homes on the 11 acres on 5,000-square-foot lots.

In other business, the council promoted Keith Knoblach, code enforcement officer, from part time to full time. Knoblach said after the meeting that the duties of the position have expanded and become more tedious, especially since the recent adoption of the rental property inspection ordinance.

Council member Robert McHale joked that the promotion was contingent on passing a psychological test.

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