top of page
Renew LV.jpg

In The News

Planning Commission.jpg

By Sarah M. Wojcik of THE MORNING CALL December 10, 2016

"Q: When did you first get involved with municipal government and why?
A: About two years ago when Old Dominion Freight Lines was seeking to build a trucking terminal near my home. Terminals are not permitted in an LI zone. The developer and ODFL were claiming that it was a warehouse, but my neighbors and I were convinced that it was a cross-docking terminal. The use was going to be very intense. We rallied neighboring developments to get involved; raised funds for an attorney and quickly learned our way around the township's land development process.
Q: What did you try to accomplish?
A: Our goal was to simply stop the terminal. Many experts told me that our chances were slim. The Zoning Hearing Board had already ruled in ODFL's favor; our only option was to appeal in Lehigh County Court.
Q: Did you succeed?
A: We accomplished a lot. The developer, seeing widespread opposition, graciously stopped the project. We convinced the township to pass a text amendment that clarified the definition of a trucking terminal. This not only benefited my neighbors but it protected all residents with a cleaner ordinance. Ultimately, the neighbors formed a tighter unity.
Q: After that, your involvement with the community deepened. How and why?
A: It happened in stages. After Old Dominion, residents from several communities approached me for assistance with their own issues. A lot of their concerns had to do with land development projects or truck traffic woes. Remembering how confusing the process was for me, I guided them through the township's procedures. I joined the planning commission about a year ago and this July started working with the chief of police on his efforts to form the Good Neighbor Coalition."

Screen Shot 2021-02-21 at 2.14.00 PM.png

By Kevin Duffy of THE MORNING CALL, March 6, 2020

"...Sunny Ghai, a nearby resident and chairman of the township’s Good Neighbor Coalition, said supervisors need to be more proactive when developers’ appeals come before the zoners. He also called for a review of the composition of the current zoning board and replace members whose views do not align with their own..."

Construction

By Kevin Duffy of THE MORNING CALL, February 7, 2020

"Sunny Ghai, a nearby resident and chairman of the township’s Good Neighbor Coalition, said the proposal was not fair to the residents who live nearby, many in pricey homes. “Yes we knew [the zoning was] light industrial but who would have expected a 135-foot silo?” he asked."

Vote_edited.jpg

By Mariella Miller, Special to THE MORNING CALL, November 7, 2014

"Sunny Ghai, who lives near the spot where Old Dominion wants to build, explained his and other neighbors' concerns in prepared remarks that focused mainly on traffic hazards.

Ghai said there have been 29 accidents at Ambassador and Mill roads in the recent past, in addition to numerous others on the "curvy and hilly stretch of road between Hilltop and Hickory and between Hickory and Snowdrift roads, including a fatal motorcycle accident."

"Local residents already experience extensive traffic delays on Tilghman Street where the road goes from four-lane to two-lane just prior to Snowdrift and continues the rest of the way to Route 100. This conversion is already a safety hazard and additional truck traffic will only make the problem worse," he said."

Truck and Warehouse

By Daniel Patrick Sheehan of THE MORNING CALL, May 13, 2015

"A trucking company project that pitted Upper Macungie Township against its Zoning Hearing Board in Lehigh County Court is dead, but the court case continues.

The owner of the land where Old Dominion Freight Lines Inc. wanted to build what it called a distribution warehouse — but opponents claimed would be a far-busier trucking terminal — has let his agreement of sale with Old Dominion lapse and doesn't plan to renew it, an attorney close to the negotiations said.

The trucking company and the property owner, Jim Gentile, did not respond to requests for comment. But Ronald Corkery, a Whitehall Township attorney who represents Upper Macungie resident and project opponent Sunny Ghai, confirmed Gentile had withdrawn from the project."

Technicians at Work

By MARGIE PETERSON,  SPECIAL TO THE MORNING CALL, JUNE 9, 2015

Workers on Strike

By Peter Blanchard for THE MORNING CALL, September 10, 2020

""As truck traffic has increased, the problems have grown,” said Sunny Ghai, an Upper Macungie Township resident who has previously called on local lawmakers to take more autonomy over warehouse development. “I wish I could have gone back in time, but I know I can at least provide you with a stark warning of what is likely to come.”"

"It was a development not on the supervisors' agenda that brought out some residents who fear for the safety and character of their neighborhood. 

 

Sunny Ghai and Michel Glower were among those in the audience concerned about plans by Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. to build a 43,840-square-foot facility on 14 acres at 6975 Ambassador Drive.

Ghai, who lives behind the property on Lehigh Court, said the neighborhood streets are already experiencing too much truck traffic on roads where children walk to school bus stops and parks.

The neighbors have organized and hired a lawyer to fight the facility which reportedly would have 80 dock bays.

"It would be horrendous," Ghai said. "We have right now so many trucking issues, people making illegal U-turns…we're already having so many accidents."

At issue is whether the Old Dominion facility would be considered a distribution warehouse, which is allowed in light-industrial areas like the land on Ambassador Drive or a trucking terminal, which is not. If it is used to load goods from tractor-trailer to tractor-trailer, it's considered a trucking terminal. If the goods are loaded from tractor-trailers onto smaller trucks, it's a distribution warehouse.

Upper Macungie Township is suing its Zoning Hearing Board over the Old Dominion plans. The township argues that the Zoning Hearing Board erred by accepting Old Dominion's own definitions of a tractor-trailer and a truck when it interpreted the language of the zoning ordinance in the company's favor on Nov. 12.

The case is scheduled to be heard 9:30 a.m. April 1 in Lehigh County Court.

Meanwhile, Ghai and other neighbors are urging Upper Macungie to revise its zoning ordinance to be clearer and specific about what uses are allowed. Supervisors Chairman James Brunell said township officials have already started to talk about what changes need to be made in the ordinance but it's not a quick process.

"We are obviously concerned with the property on Ambassador," Ghai said. "And while we go through that we don't want a large time to lapse where this could happen again. We'd like to suggest that you put at least that on a fast track if you possibly can.""

bottom of page