The hearing, which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at Saucon Valley High School, will be about the possible rezoning of land along Applebutter Road.
Rezoning of the land has been requested by IESI Bethlehem Landfill, which wants to expand westward onto property it has purchased in recent years.
Some township residents support the expansion, while others have vocally opposed it, and the likelihood is that the public hearing will be contentious.
Noteworthy among the pre-established rules of order is a ban on guns that will be in place due to the meeting being held on school property.
Meeting attendees will also be "wanded" by metal detectors, and Lower Saucon Township police will be stationed at the hearing.
The full list of approved procedures (as published on the Lower Saucon Township website) is as follows:
- A sign-in sheet will be used for order of public comments.
- Individuals who want to speak must be sworn in under oath by a court stenographer. The oath will take place as a group at the beginning of the hearing using the sign-in sheet. Individuals who speak must give their name and address prior to speaking and acknowledge that they took the oath. Individuals who arrive later will be required to take the oath prior to speaking.
- Security and safety provisions will be as follows: a. The PA Crimes Code prohibits the possession of weapons on school property, including the buildings and grounds at any time—so it will apply to the 9/25 meeting. Two police officers will be assigned to attend this meeting and will be stationed at the main entrance with a wand for detecting metals. Signs will be posted at the school warning and advising people attending the meeting of the weapons ban.
- The time limit on length of public comment or presentation will be three minutes.
- A person may speak once, however another person who has signed up to speak may yield their time and provide it to someone else. A speaker will only be granted one three minute extension, if given, for a maximum speaking time of six minutes.
- Comments shall be directed to council only.
- Written questions on the substance of proposed amendments or procedures should be submitted prior to the public hearing if possible.
- Procedures will be in place to maintain proper decorum for the hearing. Public participation will be allowed, but council will ensure respect for all citizens and maintain order. Personal attacks and outbursts will be ruled out of order.
- Individuals with lengthy written statements may submit them for the record and provide a verbal summary of three minutes or less.
- The Public Hearing will conclude at 10 p.m. Should any continuation be necessary, it will be discussed and announced that evening.