A sketch plan for a new housing development along Route 191 was presented to the Lower Nazareth Planning Commission at its meeting Monday night.
The property, known as the Frey Tract subdivision, is located next to the .
With 57 single-family homes planned for the development, Joe Piperato, the attorney and a principal for Frey Tract, asked commissioners to consider changing the zoning from agricultural to low-density residential.
The residential developments surrounding the tract were changed to low-density residential in 1991 when construction took place, said Piperato, adding that he would like to see the Frey Tract follow suit.
“It’s an additional 15 lots that puts them into [low-density residential],” Piperato said.
Vice chairman Zachariah Cobrinik said he would support the change in zoning but only if another area in the township dropped to a lower zoning category. This would allow for a zero increase in the zoning impact on the township.
Cobrinik voiced concerns about additional development, especially on the west side of Route 191 -- a road already with heavy traffic.
“My biggest issue is traffic on Route 191,” Cobrinik said. “It’s going to get worse. It’s borderline tolerable at best.”
That said, Cobrinik added he believes the development on the east side will not have a large impact on Route 191 traffic because residents will likely not use the road to travel to retail areas such as Northampton Crossings.
Cobrinik praised much of the development's design, particularly where the plan shows traffic exiting and entering via neighborhood roads that do not intersect Route 191.
“It’s all about reducing the amount of traffic on 191,” Cobrinik added.
Two other issues face Piperato and Frey Tract. The first is whether to extend Hartman Road into the development. Discussion at the meeting leaned toward not extending the road.
The second is whether sidewalks should be installed -- something the township requires unless Piperato requests a waiver.
Because the development is only in the sketch-plan stage, the planners took no action.