We have prepared an opinion piece that we plan to share when the public has an opportunity to speak at the conclusion of the curative amendment hearing process:

I’ll start by thanking the East Allen Board of Supervisors for unanimously voting to deny the original Rock Lehigh rezoning request.

In their “complaint and petition” leading to this curative amendment process, Rock Lehigh refers to the Board as “obstinate”. In count IV of the “complaint and petition,” they use the title “BAD FAITH” because the Board refused to meet with them once Rock Lehigh filed the rezoning petition. 

The Board was not obstinate, nor did they act in bad faith. They acted with complete transparency, ensuring the community residents had the opportunity to listen and have their voices heard. They did what is in the best interest of their community and residents who are vehemently opposed to this rezoning, and not what is in the best interests of Rock-Lehigh.

Some time ago, I received a mailing from Rock-Lehigh, which stated “development for the betterment of the community”. I consider it a propaganda piece pushing our community towards warehouses, logistics, distribution centers, or whatever term suits their needs to get the rezoning accomplished.

Now Rock-Lehigh has switched its rezoning request from a warehouse to a logistics center.

Rock-Lehigh failed to prove the case of “defacto exclusionary zoning” and the township’s failure to provide for their “fair share of warehouse (or logistics center)” uses. Rock-Lehigh is now proposing a logistics center instead of a warehouse; or a “different name, same game”.

Now, let me briefly review the similar problems warehouses and logistics centers cause; especially one that’s over a million square feet and 60 feet high. I’ll refer to them as Rock-Lehigh’s version of  “development for the betterment of the community”, and there is plentiful data to support the following:

  • Increased truck traffic, which tears up our roads, creates a potential hazard for increased traffic accidents, and leads to greater exposure to diesel fumes, a recognized toxic substance contributing to acute health issues;
  • In terms of air quality, the Lehigh Valley is the fourth most polluted area of Pennsylvania, affected largely by diesel traffic;
  • A loss of agricultural land. According to Lehigh Valley Live, the census data released from 2017 indicated the amount of farmland acreage in the Lehigh Valley has decreased with every census since 1997. Over the last 20 years, the area has lost about 25 percent of its farmland. Approval for this rezoning would be another step forward toward eliminating farmland in East Allen and the greater Lehigh Valley region;
  • Stormwater runoff concerns;
  • The comprehensive plan describes the area as a transition from the high-intensity industrial areas including the FedEx complex to the residential neighborhoods associated with Weaversville Road, Halbea Street, and others. The Rockefeller plan does not provide, and in fact, eliminates the gradual transition currently existing;
  • Decreased home values; a recent article in the Morning Call was titled, “Experts: Warehouse plan would hurt home values”.

In conclusion, let Rock-Lehigh keep their tax revenues for our community which sometimes are lost to tax abatements. They can also keep their warehouse jobs, which are slowly being lost to automation. We prefer to keep our safety, health, and quality of life in our community.

For questions or comments email us at [email protected].

If you agree please go to the following link on change.org and sign our petition (please be advised change.org asks for donations that have nothing to do with lehighvalleysharp.com. You can just sign the petition and not donate. Thank you.):