Parkland Press

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Residents concerned regarding land swap

Thursday, June 9, 2016 by KENNETH BLEILER Special to The Press in Local News

With a packed meeting room, Upper Macungie supervisors moved through their regular agenda quickly to get at the controversial topic on the list.

The topic apparently drawing the most residents to the meeting was the proposed township land swap with Jaindl Land Company.

The proposal is to swap the township’s parcel of 59.072 acres for a parcel consisting of 46.283 acres owned by Jaindl.

The township property is located at 847 Mosser Road. The Jaindl property, consisting of 5 tracts, is located on Oldt Road.

The firm of Raymond C. Geiger, Real Estate, was contracted to do an appraisal of the properties to ascertain whether they would be of equal value.

The township property is currently zoned Open Space Preservation while the Jaindl property is zoned Light Industrial Park.

For the purpose of evaluation, Geiger had to make certain hypothetical assumptions.

After putting all the data into the appraisal equation, Geiger came up with a value of $6,200,000 for each property.

Acreage wise, the Jaindl property was perceived as being more valuable with a cost of $135,000 per acre versus the township property at $105,000.

Chairman Jim Brunell laid out the ground rules of the discussion to the audience.

Township Manager Dan Olpere outlined the plan proposal while Director of Planning and Zoning Daren Martocci and Solicitor Andrew Schantz reviewed the zoning history of the property.

In Martocci’s evaluation, the Jaindl proposal for the Oldt Road property which would have all warehouses, was the worst of the plans submitted.

Another plan had been brought to the board by Jaindl, which would have mixed uses on the lots.

Martocci said if the warehouse plan was approved, the intersection of Schantz Road and Nestle Way would have to be improved.

If the township property were developed, the truck traffic could be diverted to Industrial Drive and then to Route 100.

Many residents voiced their opinions on the subject.

Richard Schlauch said it was his opinion the properties were of equal value.

Schantz stated both properties were assessed at the same zoning.

Stephanie Erwin read a letter voicing the group’s concern.

John Landis said in his opinion, the assessment was incorrect as the portion of the Jaindl property that can not be developed should not be taken into consideration when assessing.

Laurie Nyce stated the township had enough warehouses.

Gary Siravo said the trucks have devalued his property.

Several other residents in the audience voiced similar concerns.

Supervisor Kathy Rader told the audience no decision would be made that night. No date was set for a decision on the matter.

A second appraisal will be sought.