KRE Upper Macungie Associates LP is challenging the substantive validity of the township's ordinance arguing that the ordinance does not include a multi-family, mid-rise apartment use, which it is planning on Lower Silver Lake Road.
In addition to laying out their arguments [challenging Newtown’s zoning], the [KRE] lawyers submitted preliminary challenges to the supervisors, including one [submitted by Joseph Blackburn, Partner with Wisler Pearlstine] seeking to disqualify supervisor John Mack from hearing the challenge.
This is not the first time that a developer tried to muzzle a supervisor, including me. At the 8 Aug 2018 Arcadia Green PRD Hearing, Mr. John VanLuvanee, Esq., applicant’s counsel, requested that several Supervisors [including me] be recused due to bias. Township Solicitor Dave Sander cited section 603 of the PA Second Class Township Code, which states: “A member of the board shall not be disqualified from voting on any issue before the board solely because the member had previously expressed an opinion on the issue in either an official or unofficial capacity.”]
Comments from Newtown Patch readers:
- His [Mack’s] reporting is his opinion. I’ve lived here for almost 40 years and the changes have been horrible. Flooding is becoming a big problem and all this building is not helping, and the roads can’t handle the increased population. Lawyer just want his way.
- This is why you cannot give in even once to these challenges to the Township Ordinances. These builders and developers will do anything to get their way. Now when they exhaust legal means or it looks like things may not go their way they want to remove a supervisor? The ordinances and the Supervisors are there to protect the interest of the community from developers who could care less about the community and just build and walk away with their money. I would put the onus on the developer to provide a detailed professional study showing that there would be no detrimental economic and environmental impact as well as how the project would be beneficial to the community to warrant a change or modification of the existing ordinance.
- I found this on the Newtown Patch. John, in my opinion, you are doing what the people of Newtown elected you to do and I thank you for that. I find it to both appalling and reprehensible that a developer would want to violate the 1st Amendment AND the citizens of Newtown Township because you are outspoken and put the welfare of your constituents before corporate greed. We do not need to look like the towns that are along Street Road. My family moved to Newtown (granted from Philadelphia and several other places -- I came from a small town in NEPA and served in the Army) 32 years ago because of the great school district and because we thought it would be a good place to live. My sense is that KRE is threatened specifically by you and the fear that you will influence the BOS. I also feel that, regardless of political party, you care about Newtown and the legacy being left to generations to come.Corporations cannot be allowed to dictate who can or cannot vote because he or she has an opinion that is in opposition to their wants and desires. [via personal email]
- The arrogance of these developers is over the top. Not only do they feel the laws shouldn't apply to them, they now think the officials we, the citizens, elected should not have standing to make decisions on our behalf. This isn't the Old Soviet Union or Communist China KRE, abide by our laws and ordinances or move along. KRE isn't a multi-billion dollar corporation like Wawa. Supervisors need to grow a backbone and stand up for the citizens of Newtown and reject this project. Fight for what is right, not what is easy. They should have ended the hearing last night based on the contemptuous comments they made.
- WAWA finally approved by Township board... 3-2 (on a board with 1R and 4D). It was downsized to 6 pumps, EV charge stations, solar panels and a sign not overbearing to direct people to it. A developer wants to build a 245 unit apt. on Silver Lake Road and cites John Mack as biased re his opinion of the proposed complex that would be overdeveloping the Township. Well, good opinion John, but it's too late. Newtown Township has already been overdeveloped to the max and that is why it cannot support any more apartment complexes. Wegmans way out on Stonybrook Road is off of the bypass and will have apartment complexes. Richboro Road/bypass apt. complex being considered. One is being proposed in the borough on Sycamore St/Richboro Rd.... and of course the Center Ave liquor store nightmare.l and people are against a WAWA? There is a difference between a WAWA and apartments. A WAWA is needed. More apartments are NOT needed. A gas station is desperately needed on the bypass and WAWA serves that purpose. It's not easy for people on the outskirts to drive through Newtown traffic to get gas. Me for one! And Mr. Kyle... you voted against it. Possibly you are a moderate Republican. Children will not be crossing the bypass to go to a WAWA... you have to drive to it. It's a pretty long walk! Actually, if the WAWA had been voted down permanently, I seriously think that apartments would still be planned and approved on the bypass.
- It’s not that Newtown is ever developed, but we had 70 years of incompetent, township, supervisors and county commissioners who could not have simple l foresight to plan. Infrastructure ahead of the development take a drive to Dublin Ohio some time it was smaller than a Newtown in 1982 now it’s home to to 40,000 people another 50,000 people coming into work and there’s never any traffic jam anywhere because they planned the roads to hold the traffic instead of putting their heads in the sand. They have 4 lane parkways going into cornfields and wait for it……OVERPASSES on their bypasses. Not to mention 15 to 20 roundabouts that keep traffic constantly flowing smoothly.
- I think this is a riot, and a new low. If a developer does not get what he or she wants, the supervisor who objects to the development should be removed. Poor Newtown, once a nice small town now a city. Maybe we will have to change the name from town to Newcity, especially if the big development in the Borough is approved at the old liquor store site. Lots of luck getting out of there from those big buildings with the only exit at the new liquor store lane. Luckily the parking garage was eliminated.I can’t imagine where that traffic would have gone.
What Do You Think?
These zoning “validity challenges,” I fear, will eventually lead to developers rewriting zoning ordinances (laws) meant to protect the promise of Newtown as “A Great Place to Live, Work, and Worship” as well as enjoy open, undeveloped space.
What do you think? How concerned are you about overdevelopment in Newtown Township?
Posted on 14 Jul 2023, 01:42 - Category: Development