Suburban Growth

For generations most residents of Lower Macungie Township lived on a farm. There were a few concentrations of population where schools, stores, hotels and later automobile service stations were located. The largest of these villages was Wescosville. Others were East Texas, East Macungie, Weilersville and Hensingersville. Wescosville had a number of small businesses, and a major printing business developed in East Texas after the 1940s. The most industrialized communities in the township were Alburtis and Lock Ridge, which had iron furnaces and textile mills. They became the Borough of Alburtis in 1913.

The rural aspect of the township changed permanently when housing subdivisions began to sprout new homes in the early 1960s. Ancient Oak, Shepherd Hills and Ancient Oak West were the first of many large new housing developments. High taxes on farmland and the decision in the late 1960s by the Lehigh County Commissioners to place a sewer interceptor along the Little Lehigh Creek, which flows through the center of Lower Macungie Township, precipitated the sale of many farms by retiring farmers to developers and speculators. By 2000, homebuilding had consumed 3,788 acres of land. In 2005 this had increased to 4,475 acres, and in 2007 homes occupied 4,633 acres.

Industrial and commercial development, and new road extensions, have taken place along with residential growth. Large warehouses have been constructed on many acres of prime farmland, but as of 2018 no new proposals for warehouses will be allowed.