Salisbury Press

Tuesday, July 7, 2020


Thursday, August 29, 2019 by The Press in Opinion

Speak up if you don’t want your taxes to increase

To the Editor:

As a taxpayer in Lower Macungie, I suggest you spend a few minutes, take a drive and see all the large warehouses in the western area of our township.

To be specific, land west of Route 100 and land north of the Borough of Alburtis on Main Street which becomes Spring Creek Road. It is a beautiful farming area with acres of corn and other crops. The East Penn School District owns land for a future high school off of Route 100.

Recently our township passed a new zoning ordinance which will have a major affect on our real estate taxes in future years.

Adjacent to the large warehouses football field long are acres of land with corn which is zoned for one house per 10 acres. Is anyone going to build a house on 10 acres next to a warehouse?

The concept for saving farmland makes sense yet this zoning is flawed and will not work. Zoning this land AP&R eliminates use at this time. These factors establish the land value to a negative value unrealistic to market conditions. The recent land sale for Koze’s Indian Creek Field development, at $100,000 per acre, creates an opportunity for land speculators to undertake legal action to fight restrictive zoning.

With development land selling at this price spending a million dollars in legal fees is quite probable because the AP&R land is now valued so cheap.

A key question how many farms in the AP&R districts have sold their land to the Lehigh County Land Preservation Board? If easements have NOT been sold, the current owners believe the zoning density will change.

After the last zoning change in 1988, Jaindl purchased on the cheap 474 acres in the AP & R districts. To avoid litigation our township granted warehouse approval on the Jaindl warehouse land.

The key to obtaining a court decision is to invalidate LMT existing ordinance; is proving the ordinance discriminates for affordable housing with the lack of urban zoning.

Using the Southwestern Lehigh County Comprehensive Plan of 2017 to prove ample affordable housing exist is a fallacy. The choice of an elementary school by a home buyer or renter is the key question. For a buyer or renter his option will be an intercity school in Emmaus not a school in S or SR zoned land in LMT.

If you do not want your real estate taxes to increase speak up against this flawed zoning.

Ira Lehrich