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Upper Milford to reduce number on planning commission

By Mark Reccek, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:52:38 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2014 06:11:21 AM CDT
Upper Milford Twp. workshop
UPPER MILFORD TWP., Pa. -

In the future, the Upper Milford Township Planning Commission will have seven members rather than nine.

The board of supervisors discussed reducing the number of members on the township's planning commission by attrition at Thursday evening's workshop meeting.

Currently, the township planning commission consists of nine individuals. Members are appointed by the board of supervisors to serve four year terms.

Chairman Robert Sentner initially recommended reducing the number of those who serve on the planning commission.

"I think we need to make a decision on that," he said, "to get it back to a manageable level."

Township Manager Daniel DeLong said the planning commission prior to 1974 was set at five members. In 1974 the number increased to nine.

The current township ordinance sets the number serving on the planning commission at nine.

Vice Chairman Daniel Mohr, who served on the planning commission for 18 years, said he thought seven members currently serve on the commission.

"I didn't think it was nine, I thought it was seven," he said.

According to Sentner, due to absences, on average five members attend any given meeting.

"Part of the reason for doing this is to lesson the paperwork and staff work," he added.

Mohr expressed support for the reduction.

"It worked well with seven when I was on," he said. "I don't mind dropping back to seven."

As members retire or leave, they will not be replaced, Sentner said.

DeLong told the supervisors he will instruct board Solicitor Marc Fisher to draft a new ordinance changing the planning commission from nine to seven members.

The board will vote on the change at a future meeting.

In other business during the regular meeting, the supervisors unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding between the township and the Lehigh County Conservation District.

DeLong said the agreement is necessary to cure an Environmental Protection Agency deficiency. The EPA assessed the township's compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's general permit for discharges of stormwater from 2010 and 2011, specifically noting the lack of documentation.

"This came about due to the administrative order from the EPA," he said.

Mohr stressed the deficiency was raised because documentation indicating an agreement between the township and LCCD was missing.

"It's just that we didn't have the proper paperwork," he said.

According to DeLong, the EPA sent out 165 letters of deficiencies to municipalities in the northeast division of the state.