SALISBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION Plan for home for elderly again tabled
A plan for a proposed home for the elderly off of Lehigh Street in western Salisbury Township near the Emmaus border has again been tabled.
The Salisbury Township Planning Commission is expected to continue its review of Legacy Place, two one-story buildings for approximately 32 residents, at its next meeting, 7:30 p.m. May 14.
Approximately nine residents who live near the proposed facility attended the April 9 planners' meeting when, by a unanimous 7-0 vote, the project was tabled.
Planners also tabled the project at their March 12 meeting, when the plan was first presented. Approximately the same number of residents, including many of those at the April meeting also attended the March meeting.
In related business April 9, planners voted 6-1 to grant a deferral for sidewalks, which means sidewalks will not be required to be constructed along an approximate 150-foot section of Bevin Drive.
However, planners voted 7-0 to reject a request for a waiver or deferral to require grading along the 150-foot section, which means that the grading will be required.
Planners reasoned that requiring the grading would pave the way for possible future sidewalk construction. It was said there are no sidewalks in the area. The grade varies from 1 percent to 8 percent. The grade will now be required to be no more than 3 percent.
Planner Richard Schreiter advocated the grading. "It is a busy area and people should be able to walk there," Schreiter said.
Planners also voted 7-0 to grant a request from the developer for a 90-day extension, which would continue to the July planners' meeting, for the plan proposed for 2051 Bevin Drive.
The plan proposes two buildings, described by the developer, Posh Properties, as a personal care home and assisted living-memory care facility. The 2.45-acre vacant land at Bevin Drive and Regent Court is in the C1 Office-Laboratory zoning district.
Township Consulting Engineer David J. Tettemer of Keystone Consulting Engineers read from his April 3 review letter, which had 14 comments, most of which he said are drafting-oriented or engineering.
Tettemer detailed comments he said were relevant for planners to consider. First, he said, he doesn't recommend approving a waiver to combine the preliminary and final plan.
Tettemer said he would not recommend approval of the plan until the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Lehigh County Conservation District reviews the gravity drain storage facility for the facility. Water quality is an issue, according to Tettemer.
Jeffrey L. Ott of Ott Consulting, Inc., representing the developer, said of Tettemer's review letter, "We don't have any objections to the comments."
In an email response to a Press reporter's question about stormwater mitigation for the project, Tettemer explained. "The Legacy Place project proposes using seven stormwater injection wells to discharge the building roof runoff directly to the aquifer as part of their stormwater control plan. The plan included two stormwater storage facilities, one for each building, designed to control the discharge rate to the aquifer."
During the 1 1/2-hour discussion of the 2 1/2-hour April 9 meeting, planner Glenn Miller questioned whether stormwater would flow into Little Lehigh Creek, which is a high-quality stream, also described as exceptional-value waters, based on Chapter 93 of the state code.
The DEP, from its Wilkes-Barre office, will require an individual permit for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
Dorothy Cockerell, who lives along Regent Court, said, "I am really concerned about the water. I'm concerned we might be injecting bad stuff into the ground water."
Sand will be used to filter the water "to make sure that what is going into the ground is potable water," Tettemer said.
"This is a little bit of a first case there," Tettemer said of the drainage system plan.
"Not in my back yard you're testing this," Cockerell responded.
Planner Richard Schreiter said, "Is there any chance of failure?"
"The rate is one gallon per minute," Ott said.
"I just want to reassure the neighbors," Schreiter said.
"I think what we've come up with is as safe as we can have," Tettemer said.
"We see so much water already 20-foot-wide of mud," Cockerell said. "It comes right from that lot. And it happens all the time. The water actually hits the curb and makes a wave."
Tettemer said a maintenance schedule for the sand filtration will be worked out "so we can look at this on a regular basis. We will work diligently on that."
Robert Fischer, who lives along Regent Court, said, "It's of little solace to me that the stormwater that floods across my lawn is of high-quality.
"This property was poorly-designed to begin with. You're adding an acre and a half of impervious surface to an already horrendous situation," Fischer claimed.
"The people at the end bear the brunt of it. Frankly, it happens every two weeks. An inch of rain will cause this," Fischer said.
Township Director of Planning and Zoning Cynthia Sopka, referring to her review letter, said she visited the site to indentify trees that would need to be cut to allow site preparation for the project.