Salisbury Press

Sunday, June 16, 2019

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

Thursday, April 11, 2019 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Local News

Sketch plan submitted for nine-house subdivision

A nine-home subdivision is proposed for vacant land at 904 Flexer Ave. and 2882 E. Texas Blvd. (Mosser Drive) in Salisbury Township.

The Salisbury Township Planning Commission reviewed a sketch plan for what’s termed a major subdivision at its March 12 meeting.

No action was required by the planners because the project was submitted as a sketch plan.

The project proposes construction of approximately nine houses with a minimum lot size of 9,600-square-feet, as required in the Rural Residential Zoning District of R-3 referenced as Medium Low Density Residential dwellings.

Reading from his March 6 review letter, which had 15 items, Salisbury Township Engineer David J. Tettemer of Keystone Consulting Engineers, Inc., highlighted:

- The plan has a 20-foot setback, whereas a 25-foot setback is required, so a variance will be needed.

- Public sanitary sewer would be provided by South Whitehall Township, so an inter-municipality sewer agreement will be required.

Salisbury Township Director of Planning and Zoning Cynthia Sopka said, “I do agree that a 25-foot setback is required.”

Dave East, partner, Plot 886, the developer, said, “We will comply with that.”

During the approximate 30-minute discussion, it was stated two off-street parking places are required for each dwelling.

“This is an extension of the previous subdivision along Mosser Drive,” Tettemer said.

Glenn Miller, planning commission secretary, asked about the plan’s cul-de-sac.

“It meets all the requirements,” Tettemer said.

Planning commission member Mark Kijak asked about a retention basin depicted on the sketch plan.

“They will have to get approval from South Whitehall Township because they will be entering into the South Whitehall system,” Tettemer said.

Approximately nine township residents attended the March 6, 2018, zoning hearing when zoners voted 3-0 to remove a restriction to limit the number of lots to three on a four-acre property.

The variance modification request was made by Dr. John A. and Jane Altobelli to allow more than three lots on a 4.2372-acre property they own at 886 Flexer Ave.

The restriction of three houses on the lot was put in place Aug. 7, 2001, by township zoners.

The restriction had permitted no more than three single-family dwellings to be constructed on the western Salisbury property, with access from Mosser Drive off Cedar Crest Boulevard. The property is in an R-3 Medium Low Density Zoning District.

In their zoning appeal, the Altobellis said they “believe the limitation of three lots is no longer viable.”

They requested “relief to the applicants to allow the construction of up to 11 single-family dwellings.”

The majority of residents at the March 6, 2018, zoning hearing objected to increasing the number of homes on the lot to more than three.

Maria Diaz-Joves, of a423, a Hellertown-based architecture and design firm, explained at the March 6, 2018, hearing her firm did not necessarily plan to build 11 homes on the lot. She said an agreement of sale for the property is contingent on obtaining township, county and state approvals.

“We build modern, sustainable homes. They are more energy-efficient and ‘greener’ than the normal home,” Diaz-Joves said at the March 6, 2018, hearing.

The proposed 2,500-square-foot homes might sell for $350,000 to $400,000.

At the March 6, 2018, hearing, zoning board member, Atty. Kent Herman, noted removal of the restriction of three homes does not exclude development on the property from going through the township zoning and planning commission approval process.

“This is a step in the development process. It’s an early step,” Herman said before the March 6, 2018, zoners’ vote.