East Penn Press

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by KEVIN JONES Special to The Press in Local News

Industrial zones discussed

The May 15 workshop meeting of the Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission focused on ordinances for the township’s industrial zones.

The township has four industrial zones – the industrial zone, the highway industrial Spring Creek zone, the highway industrial zone and the office, research and light industrial center zone.

Planning commission Chair Maury Robert wanted to remove the auto service station use because it is the same as the automotive and vehicle repair use. There was discussion about the commercial vehicle storage use. Robert questioned if the storage area is for recreational vehicles or if it would be parking for trucks.

Township Engineer Alan Fornwalt brought up the discussion of day care centers. He explained freestanding day care centers are not allowed in the industrial zones. They would only be allowed as part of a larger building.

Sara Pandl, director of planning and community development, raised the idea of allowing a golf course with a driving range or mini golf in the highway industrial zone. It was decided the use was listed elsewhere as outdoor recreation.

Robert brought up the non- drive-thru restaurant and the planning commission agreed for it to be permitted in the highway industrial and highway industrial Spring Creek zones. Robert decided to condense the retail uses into a single use. He also questioned if a shopping center should be allowed in the highway industrial zone.

The planning commission had a discussion about a new use in the wholesale category. They wanted to have a combination of sales and warehouse that would offer items such as tile and flooring or other building materials. The use could be called building supplies sales or home supplies sales.

The building supplies sales use would be in the highway industrial zone. A use like this has been seen in Upper Macungie Township.

There was also a discussion about the emergency services, police, fire, ambulance and rescue use. The planning commission said emergency services should not have their own use as there is already a category for township and municipal buildings.

There was discussion about accessory uses. A suggestion was made to allow walls and fences in the industrial zones because industrial buildings might want to put a fence around their parking.

There was talk of approving garage sales in the industrial zones so the residents who do live in those zones would be able to have a garage sale without needing to get a waiver.

At the next workshop meeting, the planning commission will discuss East Texas zoning. The planning commission agreed to advertise for two workshop meetings each month until the end of the year in order to cover township zoning ordinances.

The Lower Macungie Planning Commission will hold its next meeting June 5. There will be a regular meeting June 12. In addition, there will be a second workshop meeting June 19. Meetings take place 7 p.m. in the Lower Macungie Township Building, 3400 Brookside Road.