Friday, May 1, 2020

Some Curious Updates to Dorney Park's New Coaster Plans

Last we heard, Dorney Park's new coaster plans that were released by South Whitehall Township were pulled from the agenda of the Planning Commission meeting, leaving us pondering if the ride will ever see the light of day.

Today we got a bit more information on those happenings, thankfully.   I perked up this morning when an article from local news station WFMZ ran regarding the coaster plans being "approved" by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC), which is not at all the same as the South Whitehall Township Planning Commission (SWTPC).  The LVPC instead appears to be more of a committee on development in the greater Lehigh Valley, and the park doesn't necessarily need any "approval" from them to do anything.  But it's neighborly, I'm sure, to be an active part of it.

Anywho, the park apparently presented to that commission yesterday where the board "approved" the plan but said since it's in a flood zone to make the ride sturdy, in short.  Sadly I didn't know that commission existed so I missed the broadcast of the meeting, and there's no archive.  So for now that will remain more of a mystery.

But it got me thinking, if the park pulled the plan from the local township which really really does matter if they approve the plans, why go to a greater area commission and show things off just weeks later?  Is the project still alive after all?  I'm hopeful.

Then I just refreshed the WFMZ article and now it gives a little more detail on the plans being pulled from the SWTPC meeting.  It says that a "Dorney spokesperson says South Whitehall Township asked all agenda items to be postponed indefinitely as township officials were still working to conduct meetings virtually."

How interesting!  And totally the opposite of what the township put on their website, as they wrote that the park (and other parties on that meeting's agenda) asked for their plans to be withdrawn.  But they didn't say that they asked the parties to withdraw their plans!  That led us all to infer that the park pulled the plug on the plans, possibly due to covid-19, a worst case scenario. 

Hopefully this hasn't been a confusing way to present this little updates on the project.  Regardless, it suddenly feels like there is a lot more light at the end of the tunnel for this project!