Lower Saucon Township Council would like to preserve the open space because some of it is a vital link to the federally recognized, endangered Highlands, which stretch from the Susquehanna River east to Connecticut. The open space referendum question was unanimously approved by council in June to be placed on the election ballot.
It's a yes/no question asking whether working adults (that includes you young professionals) would be willing to pay additional income tax for five years so the township could buy development rights from property owners to save agricultural, wooded and historic lands from development.
Retirees living on Social Security or pensions would not be affected by the tax.
In recent years, several municipalities in the Lehigh Valley have approved a tax increase to save land. Some have not. For example, Springfield Township in Bucks County and Williams Township in Northampton County approved the increase in 2000 and 2004 respectively. Plainfield voters rejected the idea in the spring.
If the referendum is approved by a majority of Lower Saucon's 7,600 registered voters, the township would independently or in partnership with other agencies protect farms, forests and creek banks by buying the homeowners' development rights. The township does not yet have parcels picked out.
Don't forget to vote next week!