L. NAZARETH TWP., Pa. – The Lower Nazareth Township Board of Supervisors held its second conditional use hearing Tuesday night for one of two proposed warehouse developments.
The development, which is proposed by Jaindl Land Company affiliate Northampton Farms LLC, calls for the construction of a 72,850 square-foot warehouse at 4215 Lonat Drive. The site – located in Lower Nazareth’s light-industrial zoning district – sits east of Nazareth Pike/Route 191, near Kitchen Magic and the Valley View Diner.
Tuesday’s hearing followed the first hearing on May 10, and it featured attorney Marc Kaplin, who called two witnesses to testify in favor of the proposal.
The first witness, geotechnical engineer Michael Derr of Geotechnology Associates, addressed the presence of “karst features” such as sinkholes on the site. Derr noted that the site had a history of such features, and said the development was “vulnerable” to sinkholes when prompted by township solicitor Gary Asteak.
“A good portion of the township is underlined by carbonate geology,” Derr said. “Wherever you have carbonate geology with man-made water sources… you can have the risk of karst features developing.”
Derr said there was nothing unusual about the site compared to those of similar projects in the Lehigh Valley, citing Geotechnology Associates’ excavation of the soils down to a depth of 12 feet. But some residents still worried.
George Godiska, of the nearby Gradwohl Switch Road, expressed his concerns about the potential for sinkholes near the warehouse’s retention pond facilities, which could be just 50 feet from his property line. Groundhog holes could increase this risk, Godiska said.
Roberto Reyes, of Jefferson Drive, asked about the property’s maintenance requirements, claiming that some vegetation was overgrown on another Jaindl-owned property nearby. Derr replied that engineers from the Pidcock Company could testify about this at a future hearing.
The second witness, landscape architect Christian Brown of Brown Design Corporation, spoke about the proposed setbacks for and sight-line studies conducted on the site.
Brown said the site’s eastern border would contain a 5-foot berm to reduce sight lines and minimize disturbance for nearby residents, but there would be no such berm on the steeper slopes at the site’s southern edge. The southern edge satisfies the township’s 75-foot setback requirement and thus does not a berm, Brown noted.
Brown also said the site’s LED lights were designed to face toward the proposed warehouse to minimize nighttime disturbance for nearby residents. Several additional light fixtures could be attached to the building, but these would be lowered from their previous proposed height of 25 feet to 20 feet to reduce sight lines for the residents.
The second proposal calls for the construction of a 450,000 square-foot warehouse at 523 Nazareth Pike, on the west side of Route 191 near the Gradwohl Switch Road intersection. A hearing to follow this proposal’s original May 11 hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21.
A third conditional use hearing for the Lonat Drive warehouse is scheduled for Tuesday, August 1.
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