Log In

Reset Password


Birds chirped their evening song. Not far off was the hum of the highway, long-haul semis on Interstate 78.

This was not your typical setting for a Salisbury Township Planning Commission meeting.

The Eisenhower Station of Western Salisbury Fire Company was chosen for the June 9 planners’ meeting because of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania governor’s social-distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The location allowed for the unfolding of large plans and the examination of folders of information for projects seeking recommendations or approvals from the planning commission.

Western’s big yellow LaFrance fire engine was parked to the east of the firehouse to provide space inside the building for four folding tables for township officials to sit. A fifth table was set up just outside the firehouse doors for project presenters. Attendees, asked to bring their own chairs, sat in the station’s front parking lot.

Call it planners plein air.

The meeting, which had a five-item agenda, commenced 7:30 p.m. and concluded at about 10 p.m. Planners, officials and participants seemed satisfied the novel approach for the meeting was a success.

Salisbury Township Consulting Engineer David J. Tettemer of Keystone Consulting Engineers, Inc. presented an approximate 45-minute review of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Interim Act 537 Sewage Plan for Kline’s Island Treatment Plant.

Townships, boroughs and Allentown must reduce stormwater inflow to the treatment plant. The inflow can cause it to overflow into the Little Lehigh Creek during large amounts of precipitation.

Salisbury Township Zoning Officer Kerry H. Rabold reviewed proposed changes to the township zoning ordinance pertaining to temporary tents, structures and uses.

Commercial firms selling flowers and fireworks must seek a special exception to set up a tent. Typically, a special exception hearing is held before the board of commissioners. The goal is to streamline the process and reduce costs for all involved.

The planning commission voted 7-0 to recommend the zoning changes be presented to township commissioners. A public hearing would be held before the commissioners voting on the changes.

In other business at the June 9 meeting, planners voted 7-0 to approve:

•The preliminary-final lot consolidation plan for 3401 Lehigh St. and 689 Station Ave. The plan creates one lot of 5.7757 acres with no proposed development. The Station Avenue portion is in Emmaus. Borough officials said they would accept the township decision.

•The preliminary-final lot re-subdivision plan for 1072 Buckingham Drive and 2078 Buckingham Drive. The plan transfers 3,019.191 square-feet of residential land from 1072 Buckingham Drive to 1078 Buckingham Drive with no proposed development.

•The revised preliminary-final major subdivision plan for 886 Flexer Ave. The plan requests waivers for a five-lot subdivision. Each lot is to be developed with a single-family, detached residence.

There were no objectors to either of the plans. One man, who didn’t want to be identified, asked questions about the 886 Flexer Ave. plan.

The township planning commission is next scheduled to meet 7:30 p.m. July 14.

The township zoning hearing board is scheduled to meet 7 p.m. July 7.

The format and location of the planning and zoning meetings is uncertain as of the deadline for this article.

The township board of commissioners meet 7:30 p.m. June 25 via the Zoom online meeting format.

PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINResidents attend the Salisbury Township Planning Commission June 9 meeting at Western Salisbury Fire Company Eisenhower Station.