Planners Consider Care Facility's Conditional Use Sketch

Township's hand forced as Commonwealth Court overturned previous denials.

Upper Macungie Township planners are considering a sketch plan presented by owners of a 7.3-acre property at 5844 Daniel Street, who want to construct a two-story, 100-bed nursing home on the site.

Community Development Director Bruce Wlazelek said during Monday night's planning board work session that the state Commonwealth Court's decision overruled conditional use denials from Upper Macungie planners, the township's zoning board and Lehigh County Court.

The Commonwealth Court ruling granted the property's use as residential rather than institutional, even though the proposed facility's property line lies within 15 feet of four properties in the Madison Estates subdivision.

That ruling also forces township planners and zoners to use residential standards when reviewing the land development plans.

The initial sketch plan, first presented approximately a year ago, seeks to subdivide the 7.3 acres into an area of 6.75 for the nursing facility and 0.6 acres for an existing home on the property.

Wlazelek said he has received correspondence from affected homeowners living near the proposed facility asking that the property owner be forced to provide a good amount of natural landscaping buffer.

Representatives from Above and Beyond Personal Care will hear comments from planners at Wednesday night's regularly scheduled agenda meeting, where that request and several other comments will be suggested to the property owners.


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