Feb 21, 2018
Rumble In South Whitehall
In real estate no good deed goes unpunished. The farm on the corner of Cedar Crest Blvd. and Walbert Avenue watched the surrounding area develop into houses, a shopping plaza and office park. Now that the owners finally want to develop their parcel, the neighbors are in an uproar. When the municipal building was too small to hold a public meeting on the topic, it was switched to a school auditorium. The protestors have the usual complaints about traffic congestion and overcrowded schools. As a property rights advocate, I believe that the owners have the same rights to develop their land as did all the adjoining complainers. The topic of proper local government is what brings us to this post.
According to The Morning Call, an elected township commissioner told the large crowd that he agrees with them that the project, as designed, would be too much of an imposition on the township. I believe that his crowd pandering had a political motivation, and he was acting improperly as a legislator. Furthermore, as a political gesture he stated that the entire township should have been invited, rather than just the adjoining neighbors. Understand that he appoints the planning commission and the zoners, who have jurisdiction over such matters. That public meeting was not the place for his opinion, although in South Whitehall the commissioners do have the final say.
There is however another topic on which he could properly express himself. The voters of South Whitehall voted to preserve Wehr's Dam. He and his fellow commissioners have been absolutely silent on their intentions and plans about the dam, and are allowing the Wildlands Conservancy to lobby the state for condemnation.
Small local government at its worse.
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