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Residents rally to save Green Pond farm from development

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 28 2014 04:04:34 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 29 2014 06:26:22 AM CDT

"Save Green Pond" is the rallying cry from people who live in one part of Northampton County.

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. -

"Save Green Pond" is the rallying cry from people who live in one part of Northampton County, now that a developer wants to build hundreds of homes near a popular marsh area.

For Peter Saenger, a tiny little section of Bethlehem Township called Green Pond is just about heaven.

"For me, birdwatching is -- it just pulls all the stress away," he said.  "People come from all over the country to see our area and they go to Green Pond because of the draw."

Saegner is a bird specialist at Muhlenberg College in Allentown and co-author of the book, "Birds of the Lehigh Valley." 

He's also one of the leading opponents of a developer's plans to build 265 senior citizen homes near the pond. 

Saenger said he worries what the development, and a stormwater retention pond that could go with it, will mean for local flooding problems.

"There's already a pond across the street that floods into the field, so if they put a second pond in, where is that one going to flood into -- all the area residents' yards?" he asked. "Basements."

The developer, Traditions of America, already owns complexes in nearby Hanover Township.  A spokeswoman did not return calls Monday.

This isn't the first time a developer has tried to build on the site owned by Green Pond Country Club, but this is the smallest proposal so far.  That's still not good enough for opponents.

"Money has to take a second place to logic, I think, in this case," said Saenger.

You can hear directly from the developers. At 7 p.m., they're presenting their plans to the Bethlehem Township Planning Commission.  If that group approves it, the proposals goes on to the full township supervisors next week.