East Penn Press

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Thursday, November 9, 2017 by TARA CARMAN Special to The Press in Local News

Resident wears swim trunks and raincoat to clear drain

Residents continued to express their concerns at the Nov. 6 Emmaus Borough Council meeting over a zoning ordinance change council made at the Oct. 16 meeting.

W2B2 LLC plans on a townhome development located on the 9.85 acres of land at the intersection of Arch and Tilghman streets. At the previous borough meeting, council approved a zoning ordinance to rezone 1.6 acres from conservation residential to medium density residential.

A dozen or so residents in that area attended the borough meeting to express their concerns about the project which included increased traffic, increased population and the possibility of stormwater issues.

Resident Jon Harada spoke before council at the Nov. 6 meeting to further express his concerns.

Harada said there’s a lot of runoff that comes down from 12th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue and the storm drain at the intersection “floods like crazy” even during normal rainstorms.

During the heavy rains this past Sunday, Harada said he “went out there in literally water socks, a swimsuit and a raincoat” to try and clear the leaves out of the drain area so it didn’t flood into his neighbor’s basement. He said he was almost waist deep in water, the whole street was flooded out and none of the borough trucks or police cars passing by stopped to help. He also stated there’s a bus stop with at least 30 elementary school students who have to stand there in the morning.

“I’m out there whenever I can to try and help,” Harada said. “I’m really, really concerned that taking away that surface area for water to actually seep into, well, it’s actually going to create more of a problem without having other issues taken care of first.”

W2B2 plans on coming before the Emmaus Zoning Hearing Board in December to present their case for a special exception to the zoning rules, which will allow them to build townhomes instead of twins. Several residents who were in attendance at the previous council meeting plan on attending to voice their concerns once again.

Resident Jessi O’Donald stated she hoped the special exception would be rejected. “They could put in twin homes back there very easily,” she said. “Instead of having 50 homes, we could have 24.”

O’Donald is also concerned about a hole around a pipe near Pennsylvania Avenue and Shimerville Road, which she says continues to get deeper. She was wondering if a camera has been sent down the pipe yet, and if so, were there any issues and what the timeline would be for those issues to be corrected.

Borough Manager Shane Pepe said a larger camera was needed.

“It’s in the budget for the beginning of 2018,” he said. “Hopefully council adopts that camera with the budget. If they don’t, we’re going to have to contract somebody to do it.”

Pepe said if council approves the camera in the budget, they’re going to purchase it “right out of the gate.”

In other news, council approved the bid for the street crack sealing and bituminous seal coating to Asphalt Maintenance Solutions. The street crack sealing will come to a total of $52,500 and the bituminous seal coating to $69,400.

Ordinance 1164 passed its final reading which will remove a residential handicapped parking sign in front of 656 Ridge St.

Ordinance 1165 passed its first reading which establishes a deferred retirement option plan for the Emmaus Police Department. This ordinance goes in hand with the contract council and the police department decided on in October.

Ordinance 1166 passed its first reading which will put a stop sign at the intersection of South Sixth Street and Bank Street.

Ordinance 1167 passed its first reading which will eliminate parking on portions of South Sixth Street. Pepe said there is a line of sight issue in this area. “We basically removed parking from 15 feet before the entrance of Turkey Hill and 15 feet after the entrance of Turkey Hill, so you can look both ways without being concerned about pulling out and getting smashed.”

Joseph Fritz and Tara Santoro were appointed to the Emmaus Arts Commission with terms expiring Oct. 10, 2020.