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South Whitehall may see new development

Published On: Feb 20 2013 11:35:34 PM EST

The South Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners heard two separate presentations Wednesday night that could have an impact on residents’ quality of life for generations to come.

An ambitious conceptual site plan to develop a residential and retail develop on the Bortz Property off Cetronia Road between Route 309 and Schantz Road was presented by the Bridgewater, N.J.- based Kushner Real Estate Group. Geographically, a portion of the development would fall under the jurisdiction of Upper Macungie Township.

In the proposal offered Wednesday night, a 450-unit, featuring 12 four-storied, 45-unit buildings with 18 garage spaces would be built along with a 26,000 square foot grocery store, and two 5,000 square foot retail and restaurants.

Tom Gough, construction developer for KRE, noted a somewhat similar concept had been approved last year in Bethlehem Township known as Madison Farms. At this early stage, traffic studies would be examined further in depth and other project details would begin to come to fruition.

Commissioners raised no objections to the project during this very early phase.

The five-member legislative body also heard a presentation by the Wildlands Conservancy on the Jordan Creek Greenway. Kevin Fister, outdoor recreation manager for the non-profit group, asked commissioners for the township’s support in submitting an application for a Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources grant for initial funding for the construction of a trail over a 12.8-mile stretch from the City of Allentown through the Nature Preserve. The grant deadline according to Fister is April 10th, and notification whether or not the project received approval would come about eight-to 12 months later.

Commissioners agreed to move the motion forward.

In other business, commissioners also approved a resolution appointing Township Manager Jon Hammer as the chief administrative officer for the township’s pension plans and granting approval to a minor subdivision for the Jordan Evangelical Lutheran Church.