East Penn Press

Thursday, August 22, 2019

UPPER MILFORD TOWNSHIP Residents plead their cases to Upper Milford supervisors

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 by JULIA F. SWAN Special to The Press in Local News

Despite further pleas from Gary Allan and Chris Pranzo, owners of AP Automotive, Upper Milford supervisors Sept. 6 refused to allow them to lease five parking spaces on the township property.

Allan and Pranzo, whose business is located across Kings Highway from the township building, asked why their request is different from the township allowing the farmers market to use the property on Saturday mornings to conduct business.

Allan and Pranzo have asked to lease the spaces for $200 a year to provide parking for employees, because parking at their business is extremely limited. They said they could hire another employee and be more productive if they had more parking.

"What would the negatives be?" to letting them lease the township spaces, one of them asked.

Supervisor George DeVault cited safety concerns about crossing Kings Highway.

Supervisors Chairman Daniel Mohr said, "I just don't like the idea of renting out spaces to circumvent zoning variances."

Supervisors voted 2-0, with Robert Sentner abstaining, to deny the request.

Supervisors also listened to Edgar and Dolores Hausman of Mink Estates asking them to clean up and repair a detention pond on their property.

"Since 1993 that pond's been deteriorating," Edgar Hausman said.

The Hausmans said they believe it's the township's responsibility to repair the pond.

DeVault said, "The problem's even worse than appears in the pictures [which the Hausmans showed them]."

Township Manager Dan DeLong said he will have to review the contract between the township and the homeowners association to determine where responsibility lies, and will report back at the next meeting.

Another resident was also less than satisfied with the board's response to his request.

Ralph Christman, who has repeatedly asked for relief from having to connect to the Vera Cruz sewer project, asked if the township or Lehigh County Authority would at least pay for a lateral connection under Leiberts Creek to his property.

Christman's home is several hundred feet from the sewer line and he has a functional septic system, so he has asked in the past if he could be at least partially exempted from the requirement to connect to the system.

He said he may ask the zoning hearing board to allow him to change his property line so he doesn't have frontage on the sewer line, but solicitor Marc Fisher said he doesn't think that would exempt him from the requirement to connect.

Supervisors agreed to grant Christman a 60-day extension on the connection requirement, and will look into the lateral situation.

In related business, DeLong said there are just two property owners from whom there's been no response to notification of their obligation to connect to the sewer. One is a rental property with an absentee landlord and the other is an abandoned property.

About the only thing that can be done is to initiate civil proceedings to place a lien on the properties, so supervisors directed Fisher to begin that action.

About 30 more property owners have finally been at least somewhat responsive, DeLong said.

In other business, supervisors discussed the Recreation Commission's request to look into township purchase of property at 5056 Vera Cruz Road to add to Jasper Park. Recreation Commission member Terry Schmeltzle, who owns the property with his sister, said he and his sister are "trying to do what my dad [who formerly lived on the property] wanted." Commission member Phil Vanim said adding the property to Jasper Park would greatly improve access to the park.

Supervisors said they need to know a lot more about the commission's plans for the property, but Mohr said, "I'd go ahead with an appraisal" as a first step.

The board also held a lengthy executive session to discuss personnel and real estate.

After the session, the board approved a motion to allow any township employee to take a leave of absence to respond to "any and all emergencies."