Parkland Press

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Kinney questions sidewalk deferrals

Thursday, October 10, 2019 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

Over the past two decades, developers in South Whitehall occasionally asked for sidewalk deferrals in areas which did not have them in the vicinity at that time.

The understanding was that when the township was ready for sidewalk connections, property owners would be asked to provide them.

The late Steve Seyer, who served on the board of commissioners and the planning commission, often questioned the idea of deferrals and predicted the matter might cause problems later on.

At a recent meeting, Manager of Community Development George Kinney reported on the deferred sidewalk situation.

“We’re having trouble calling in those deferrals,” Kinney said.

“We’re getting a lot of resistance to it.”

He offered a suggestion for the board to consider.

“Let’s think about not deferring sidewalks and have them put in at construction,” Kinney told the board.

He noted requiring sidewalks would fit in with the new comprehensive plan on which the township is working.

“We want to promote alternative transportation such as bike lanes, bus routes and walking,” Kinney said.

Commissioner David Bond recommended the township not give up on having the deferred sidewalks installed.

“If we need to take legal action, bill them for [solicitor] Joe Zator,” Bond said.

In another topic, Kinney stated staff are talking to consultants “to develop a nexus between development and transportation” in the new comprehensive plan.

He said the future Lehigh Valley Planning Commission plan will be “based on a series of mobility centers and corridors” for transportation and development.

Preservation will take place outside those centers, Kinney said.