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Rutz Farm Development Could Get 90 Homes

Residents who live near The Hills, the proposed housing development on the former Rutz farm, are concerned about increased traffic on Walbert Avenue and nearby roads in South Whitehall.

Residents who live near are concerned about increased traffic on Walbert Avenue and nearby roads in South Whitehall.

Neighbors packed the Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night to learn and comment about the Jaindl Land Co.'s plan to build 90 single-family homes on about 94 acres of cornfields between Hampton Road and Penn's Crossing.

The sketch plan presented was a reduction from the original plan for 130 homes, developer David Jaindl said. A presentation in June 2011 was for 106 single-family homes.

Several residents disagreed with engineer Larry Turoscy's assessment of current and future traffic projections in the area near 40th Street and Penn's Crossing, particularly when school buses make stops or when an accident on Route 22 causes traffic to back up on side roads.

Planning Commissioner William MacNair was concerned about the limited access into the development from only two roads, 40th Street and Penn's Crossing.

Jaindl said the steep slope near the water tower at the top of the development near Brickyard Road prevents the company from building an arterial road.

Commissioner Steven Seyer acknowledged that growth has increased traffic throughout the township over the years, but he said residents need multiple options to get in and out of developments.

Some suggested access be created next to Shoemaker Dodge, across from Hampton Road, but Turoscy said Shoemaker would have to agree to numerous restrictions PennDOT would impose.

After more than an hour of discussion in front of the board, Jaindl told residents he would continue to speak with them in the hallway outside the meeting. Jaindl said he would incorporate some of the comments from the meeting and will present a revised plan in several months.

pam February 22, 2013 at 04:15 PM
connect the development into Brickyard Road and Penns Crossing. A loud vocal minority of all the neighbors is trying to develop this area to their needs or wants I live in Winchester Heights and would love a connection to Brickyard road to be able to jog or bike ride to Covered Bridge park More avenues of access are good for the township, emergency responders and residents Brickyard may be an inferior road but it is a township road and should be utilized as such
TINA LAUDENSLAGER February 22, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Brickyard Road is barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass. It cannot handle that amount of traffic.
pam February 22, 2013 at 07:37 PM
how much traffic do you expect on brickyard? buy the house for sale on brickyard, demolish it and widen it at the "choke" point the people on brickyard were trapped when the gas line exploded 8 years this month, they had to drive through a cornfield and a temp road built at high expense. a connection would allow this to never be a rpblem again
pam February 22, 2013 at 10:40 PM
connect Penns Crossing to Brickyard, 40th Street to Brickyard all via Walbert Avenue
StacyAnn February 23, 2013 at 06:39 PM
So will all the children that live in this new neighborhood go to Kratzer school then?

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