Catasauqua Press

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Hanover to review Goodmac property zoning issue

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

At Hanover Township’s regular meeting Nov. 20, Chairman Bruce Paulus asked council to reconsider a resolution correcting a zoning error.

The Goodmac property was purchased years ago as a way for the developers of Airport Center to expand the mall. The mall never generated the retail coattails the developers expected. Over the years, Goodmac has proposed various projects, none of which were met with favor by the township.

The property straddles Allentown and Hanover Township. Both municipalities need to agree for any project to move forward.

During one of the project proposals, it was discovered the township prepared a resolution years ago to change zoning on a small portion of the parcel but never passed the ordinance. The small parcel was zoned for cemetery or parking use but not planned commercial like the rest of the property.

The developer, his attorney and others who verified the sale confirmed the property was zoned correctly.

Earlier this month, council proposed changing the zoning mistake. Local residents, led by Councilman Rick Tocci, blocked the action. At the Nov. 20 meeting, Chairman Bruce Paulus asked that council reconsider the motion. The buyer is preparing litigation, contending the township misled the buyer on the property.

The developer has had a difficult time getting a viable project for the property. With the property under its present zoning, the township would lose control over the type of development on the corner if the developer sells the land. Paulus asked council to reintroduce the measure to change the zoning.

In other development news, council reported back to the developer of the St. Luke’s Hospital campus, The KRE Group, that it was not going to move forward with a residential apartment development at the site. Paulus expects the developer will return with a different proposal.

Attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick, representing the Rockefeller Group, and Johanna Chervak, Rockefeller’s director of real estate development, were on hand for an ordinance to consolidate various parcels along Willowbrook Road.

During the discussions about the FedEx Ground warehouse, the parties agreed Rockefeller would develop the parcel of land along Willowbrook Road within the township. This ordinance consolidated the parcels into one 32-acre plot.

Chervak confirmed there is no specific tenant for the property. The original proposal was for office space at the site.