Hanover Twp. planners review proposed behavioral health facility, convent expansion
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Hanover Twp. planners review proposed behavioral health facility, convent expansion

May 28, 2023

WFMZ.com Reporter

The proposed new joint venture behavioral health hospital in Hanover Township, Northampton County. Photo courtesy of LVHN and UHS.

HANOVER TWP., Pa. – The Hanover Township Planning Commission in Northampton County reviewed a sketch plan for a proposed hospital Monday night at the township building.

The facility is offered by Lehigh Valley Health Network and Universal Health Services. It is slated for the corner of Macada Road and Schoenersville Road, across from the Lehigh Valley Hospital Network–Muhlenberg campus. The site is currently a vacant, grassy hillside.

The plans call for a 95,055-square-foot, 144-bed behavioral health hospital. The facility will be operated by the joint venture. It is expected to create about 300 new full-time jobs. A fall 2025 opening is planned.

Hospital officials said Monday night the hospital would be an expansion of behavioral health facilities at the existing facility, ultimately tripling their existing capacity.

Few details about the operations were presented Monday night, but officials did indicate examples of patients would include those being treated for alcohol abuse. The building itself will not be accessible to helicopters and will have some type of food service, although no details on that subject were discussed Monday night. In addition, a traffic study to ascertain the volume generated by the building will be forthcoming.

In other news, planners reviewed a preliminary/record land development plan for an addition to a convent.

The addition is offered for the St. Francis Center for Renewal, located at 395 Bridle Path Road, known as Monocacy Manor. The facility is housed and staffed by the School Sisters of St. Francis, a Roman Catholic religious order named for Francis of Assisi. One of the projects on the property is the Monocacy Farm, which is managed and operated by the Sisters.

Officials presenting the proposal said the addition — 4,600 square feet — would be used by the Sisters during their retirement and later years. The addition would house 14 beds.

Planners recommended deferrals and waivers involving parking, sidewalks and counting of trees on the property.

Finally, a resubmitted plan for a proposed warehouse was pulled at the applicant's request. The proposal, offered for 300 Gateway Drive, is the site currently of the SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western. The land is near the northeast corner of an intersection of Route 512 and Route 22.

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On Friday, the pet-food maker with operations in Northampton County said it would interview activist investor JANA Partners' nominees to Freshpet's board.

WFMZ.com Reporter

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