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Jaindl offers latest Rutz Farm pitch in South Whitehall Twp.

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 15 2014 08:48:04 PM CST
SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

Developer David Jaindl has appeared before the South Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners so often they may consider presenting him with his own name plate.

Once again into the breach Jaindl went during Wednesday night's commissioners' meeting to pitch his latest incarnation of plans for the former Rutz Farm.

The project is known around the area as "The Hills at Winchester" and it is a project that has had more development lives than a long-tailed cat.

And like a long-tailed cat, Jaindl always lands on his feet with his proposals in commissioners' minds.

His latest proposal for the 94-acre lot north of Walbert Avenue dazzled commissioners sufficiently enough to have the township's planning commission lend an ear to it, the next stop on the road to realization.

Jaindl's presentation Wednesday night combined elements both old school and new wave.

Like previous models, he finds the idea of an upscale 55-and-older gated community fetching.

Wednesday night's proposal would house 192 seniors in predominantly single-family condominium units.

As for the adjacent 4.5-acre Shoemaker's auto dealership, Jaindl proposed a recreational facility for seniors, parking, a swimming pool and tennis courts.

The property also includes an "out parcel" where he proposed a free-standing restaurant that would be consistent with the culture of the community.

It's that dining establishment that wasn't made to order for at least one township resident Wednesday night.

"Everything is terrific about this plan with one exception and that is the restaurant," said Rance Lock, a resident who would live nearby to the proposed eatery. "The restaurant is going to be problematic for our neighborhood. It changes the character of the neighborhood. And the concerns we (other neighbors) have is the hours of the restaurant, is there going to be alcohol consumed there and traffic concerns. There are a lot of issues."

In an attempt to mollify Lock, Jaindl said that he understood the concerns and has "respect for the neighbors" of the proposed restaurant, noting that many of them had lived in the community for several decades.

He then added at this point it would be "premature" to talk about the restaurant and that there were "no set plans at this point" but those concerns would be kept in mind.

When asked by President Christina Morgan if Lock was satisfied with Jaindl's answer he replied "yes, for now."

Jaindl will now take his plan before the planning commission at a date yet to be determined.