Jan 13, 2017
Open Space Dreamers In Lehigh Valley
Despite Pennsylvania being one of the thirteen colonies, there exists a vast wilderness in the northern central portion of the state. Open space exists everywhere in the world, except our densest cities. Despite this reality, the concept of open space and farm land have become mantras of the left. Here in the Lehigh Valley, we have many more acres of farmland than farmers, yet the conservative Lehigh County Commissioners keep adding more tax dollars to farm preservation. I recently suggested that they should care more about our historical structures, rather than bowing to political correctness. But all this background is leading me up to today's topic, Lower Macungie Commissioner Ron Beitler. Although we never met, Ron and I are often on the same page. However, Ron is an open space advocate, who I believe may now be crossing a line.
Ron would like to see his township zoners more sympathetic to open space. I think that he is clearly confusing zoning and planning. The township comprehensive plan dictates what uses are allowed, and where they are allowed. It is zoning responsibility to implement that plan. It is the zoning board responsibility to fairly allow justified exemptions to that plan. The zoners should not be swayed by a predetermined philosophy of land use. Although the township is rolling out a new comprehensive plan later in the year, Beitler just engineered the replacement of a zoner that he felt wasn't in sync with his philosophy of open space. Although he acted within the guidelines of appointments and approvals, it was deck stacking, which I find objectionable.
ADDENDUM: Deck stacking can have major consequences, one need look no farther than Allentown. Mayor for Life Ed Pawlowski in eleven years stacked city council and all the Authorities. Before Candida Affa became his yes lady on council, she was his yes lady on the Parking Authority. Try going downtown to Hamilton Street, and putting in eight quarters for a cup of coffee. Destination cities do not even charge $2 an hour to park. What kind of destination does Allentown think it is? Mayor for Life is supposedly soliciting contributions for his 4th term. He has yet to call me.
photo credit: The Morning Call