Sixteen business owners signed a petition asking the Lower Nazareth Board of Supervisors to reconsider renaming Selvaggio Drive. The switch to Municipal Drive, according to Terri L. Conlin, property manager for Selvaggio Enterprises Inc., would place “extreme financial hardship” on the businesses.
That hardship, Conlin explained at an Aug. 8 meeting, comes in the form of address changes to letterhead, envelopes, signage, websites, business cards, pre-printed labels, etc. She added that businesses might incur problems with deliveries and receipt of payments, as well as cause GPS issues for customers.
The name change will go into effect on Nov. 1. And despite the petition and appeals at the meeting, the supervisors held firm to the change.
Conlin presented the petition, which includes 19 signatures (16 businesses) that oppose the name change, to the supervisors. Those businesses include:
- Selvaggio and Sons
- Selvaggio Excavating Inc.
- Selvaggio Enterprieses Inc.
- T&S Development Co.
- Action Karate
- Software Consulting Services (signed twice)
- Exhibit America Inc.
- Resources for Human Development (signed twice)
- Services United Inc. (signed twice)
- White Collar Technologies Inc.
- Expression of Dance Inc.
- U-Pol U.S., Inc.
- Independence Planning Group
- High Def Zone Inc.
- Snyders-Lance Inc.
- Lehigh Valley Snacks
Back in January, the township purchased 623 Selvaggio Drive -- a 35,000-square-foot property on 2.8 acres -- for $1.45 million. The property, slated to be the new home for the township municipal offices, was formerly owned by Selvaggio Enterprises Inc. and was foreclosed on in July 2010.
According to attorney Stanley Margle III, the township did not notify his clients, Stephen and Teresa Selvaggio, about the proposed name change prior to the July 11 approval.
Margle previously said his clients were exploring the possibility of legal recourse to stop the township from moving forward.
“If we can fight it, we will,” he said.
Steven Mills, standing in for township solicitor Gary Asteak, explained the township has sound legal ground to change the street’s name. He cited the second-class township code Article XXIII, 53 P. S. 67329, regarding the naming of streets. The code states that the Board of Supervisors may provide for and regulate the naming of streets, roads and highways.
Kurt Jackson, vice president of operations at Software Consulting Services, said he understood the inevitability of the street name change, but he had two issues:
- There had been no notification prior to an Aug. 1 letter from the Lower Nazareth Township Planning and Zoning Office.
- Business owners weren't asked to take part in discussions prior to the board's decision.
Jackson suggested that perhaps with some dialogue, the businesses and the township could have come to an agreement to change Selvaggio Drive at a later date.
“There are Selvaggio people here [at the meeting] and I mean no offense,” Jackson said. “I respectfully request that [the township] wait until you [take occupancy] to rename the street.”
After hearing the concerns, Supervisors Chairman Eric Nagle expressed empathy, but stressed that the name change was inevitable.
“When is it ever going to be convenient?” Nagle asked. “Whether Oct. 1, next year, or when Selvaggio leaves, it’s going to be Municipal Drive.”
The Supervisors did agree to help motorists.
Supervisor Gerald Green made a motion to install a temporary sign for one year that will state, “Municipal Drive, formerly Selvaggio Drive." The motion was unanimously approved.
Absent from the Aug. 8 meeting were Supervisors James Pennington and Martin Boucher.