A slice of Hokendauqua, rich with history that began with David Thomas, who is described as “The Father of the Modern American Iron Industry,” may become Whitehall Township’s first historic district.
The proposed historic district, which would run from Front Street to Third Street, was discussed Monday at the board of commissioners workshop and the later meeting.
McDonald’s, the fast-food hamburger restaurant chain with its trademark golden arches, was granted a variance by Whitehall Township Zoning Hearing Board regarding signs it wants to incorporate when it erects its new restaurant at MacArthur and Mechanicsville roads. Construction is expected to begin soon.
Whitehall Township is awaiting a ruling from the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board following two days of testimony on an appeal challenging the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) granting Coplay Aggregates to use regulated fill as a construction material under a permit at its quarry, north of West Coplay Road off Beekmantown Road.
Since 1968, Whitehall Township has had legislation pertaining to street numbers, noting the size of the numbers and their placement on houses, businesses and other structures.
The size of the address numbers needs to be uniform, according to the legislation.
The board of commissioners, at its June 2 meeting, voted to be in compliance with the International Property Maintenance Code regarding the size of street numbers on all properties across the township.
Whitehall Township Zoning Hearing Board on July 18 will rule on an appeal by PVC Third St. L.P. and Quarry St. Whitehall Development L.P. — two entities owned by developer Abe Atiyeh — requesting the board of commissioners change an ordinance to allow Pathstone Housing Corp. of Pennsylvania to convert a long-idle apparel factory at 215 Quarry St. into 49 low- and moderate-income apartments.
Atiyeh is challenging the validity of the ordinance, specifically the parking study.
Whitehall Township has recognized persons for their achievements on occasion, but the ceremony at the opening of the board of commissioners meeting June 12 was extra-special — it was a tribute to 8-year-old Cortney Bordner for putting others before herself.
Prior to her eighth birthday, Cortney approached her parents, Nadine and David Bordner, of Egypt, telling them she didn’t want to receive any presents but would prefer instead to have donations made to Whitehall Area Hunger Initiative’s Snack Pack Pals program.
A dig at Fort Deshler — a military outpost during the French and Indian War and with now a historic plaque off MacArthur Road recognizing its place in history — will be conducted this summer in the hopes of yielding artifacts and remnants of the once-stone structure that has its place in the early beginnings of Whitehall Township.
The Fort Deshler site is near MacArthur Road and Columbia Street, partially on what is now a busy four-lane highway and on privately owned land.
The June 5 death of Magisterial District Judge Robert Halal, who served the communities of Whitehall and Coplay, stunned not only the community but the region, and folks came together Saturday evening at Egypt Memorial Park to celebrate his life and legacy.
More than a thousand people waited in line to offer condolences to Halal’s wife, Denise, and other members of the family. The line at times stretched from just inside the park to the pavilion. Some waited an hour to talk to the family about “Bobby,” his engaging smile and his passion to put others before his own welfare.
Coplay Saengerbund’s strong bond with Austria was front and center May 30 when the Burgenland delegation was present for the Saengerbund’s 100th anniversary festivities.
The 14-member delegation was led by Hans Niessl, governor of the Federal State of Burgenland. Dr. Wolfgang Waldner, Austrian ambassador to the United States, traveled from Washington, D.C., for the special program.
Welcoming the Burgenland delegation were Frank Luizer, Saengerbund Heritage Committee chairman; Kevin Fritz, Saengerbund president; and Dean Molitoris, Coplay mayor.
Whitehall Township may partner with Lehigh County for the township to acquire a historic farm in the northern tier. The farmland preservation process is in keeping with the county’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
The board of commissioners at its Monday workshop meeting listened to details regarding the project involving the Mickley-Prydun Farmstead at North Church and Spring streets. The wooded tract includes a barn and a log cabin and is sloped in some areas.