SALISBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
A seven-lot subdivision is proposed for the site of the former Schaedel Greenhouse on Salisbury Township’s east side.
Real estate developer Rudy Amelio, who operates ERA Rudy Amelio Real Estate, Allentown, would build five single homes on five lots and one twin home on two lots for a total of seven lots at 621 E. Lynnwood St., Salisbury Township.
The project is in the township’s R-4 Zoning District. The preliminary-final major subdivision plan includes demolition of existing structures on the property.
The Salisbury Township Planning Commission voted 7-0 to table the plan at the Nov. 13 meeting when it was presented. Planner Jessica Klocek made the motion, seconded by Planner Richard Hassick, to table the plan.
Salisbury Township Consulting Engineer David J. Tettemer read from his Nov. 7 review letter of the project, which included 21 of his comments. It was stated the project site is 0.9793 of an acre. Because the site is under one acre, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is not required for the project.
Tettemer addressed several matters he said merited discussion by planners, including off-street parking, building setbacks, the widening from 22 feet to 30 feet of East Lynnwood along the property’s south side and ownership and maintenance of Granite Alley, an unincorporated street along the property’s north side. The township does not maintain Granite Alley.
“The alley is only used by the residents who live there,” planning commission Chairman Charles Beck said.
“My only access to my house is from the alley,” Cliff Freed, one of six township resdents who attended the planners’ meeting said. Freed was assured by township planners he would have access to his property via Granite Alley.
“We have no problem widening the [East Lynnwood] cartway in front of the project,” Robert H. Piligian, owner, Bascom & Sieger, Inc., a land-surveying firm said.
“I concur with the recommendations [by Tettemer],” Salisbury Township Director of Planning and Zoning Cynthia Sopka said.
Several planners said they favor installation of curbs and sidewalks along the East Lynnwood side of the subdivision property.
“You have a lot of stormwater problems on that side of the township,” planning commission Vice-Chairman Richard Schreiter said.
“I think sidewalks are a good idea,” planner Glenn Miller said.
“Sidewalks should be considered because of the density [of the development site area],” planner Mark Kijak said.
“People are going to be walking around there,” planner James Brown said.
“I agree, especially with children playing. It will keep them out of the street,” Klocek said. “I think it’s a selling point for you,” Klocek said to the developer.
“I don’t really see too much [sidewalks] in that area,” Amelio said.
“They have storm- water problems over there,” Schreiter reiterrated. “We have to have some curbing, at a minimum.”
Continuing his presentation, Piligian said, “There are some grading issues ... not that there are any steep slopes.
“We’re basically going to be regrading the entire site. The terraces are going to disappear,“ Piligian said.
Piligian said he and the developer are to discuss the project at a December meeting with Lehigh Valley Conservation District officials.
“Geological testing was done for pesticides. None were found. The site came up clean,” Piligian said.
“There are nitrites in the area. There was nothing else that was found,” Piligian said.
After the meeting, Tettemer showed a copy to a reporter for The Press of an Aug. 21, 2018, letter from Penn’s Trail Environmental, LLC, Hatfield, which tested the proposed site for pesticide residue and contaminants.
“The testing was for greenhouse-type chemicals,” Tettemer told the reporter.
“This study indicated that no pesticide contamination exists that would cause health issues,” the letter states.
Penn’s Trail Environmental, LLC, website states: “The firm does not act on behalf of any anti-development interest or as a reviewing agent for governmental agencies. Our commitment is to those property owners and purchasers who seek to use their property in an environmentally sound manner as allowed by local, state and federal laws and regulations.”
John K. Schaedel & Sons Landscaping owned and operated greenhouses, a nursery and a flower shop at 621 E. Lynnwood St.
According to the web- site LoopNet, the property includes four greenhouses, garages and workshops.
John K. Schaedel Jr., who died in 2000 at age 87, was founder, owner and operator of the John K. Schaedel & Sons Greenhouses and Landscaping and Sandy’s Flower Shop for 50 years, retiring in 1995.
His firm did landscaping at Salisbury High School, planted trees on the original Hamilton Mall, Allentown and grew flowers and plants in the greenhouses.
In 2010, a couple was arrested for allegedly operating a methamphetamine lab at 1410 S. Gilmore St, which is not included in the development site. Narcotics officers seized 10 grams of methamphetamine, seven marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia. The couple had reportedly purchased the house from the owners of the landscaping firm.