7 Mar. 2018

Bethlehem Community News

Posted By Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C.

On February 20, 2018, Stephanie Hnatiw and Virginia Oskin of the Bethlehem YWCA named Councilwoman Olga Negron YWCA’s Public Servant of the Year. Councilwoman Negron will be formally honored on April 12 during a dinner at the event center at Blue in Bethlehem Township.

In other news, the final vote on plans to covert parts of Filbert Street and Second Avenue to be “vacated, discontinued, abandoned and stricken from the city’s general plan of streets,” has been rescheduled for another time. The proposed action for the streets will support redevelopment plans for the vacant armory on Prospect Avenue.

Despite the vote being postponed, residents continued to voice their displeasure by campaigning against the project. William Scheirer, a local resident, spoke out against a particular amendment that the Zoning Hearing Board had granted to the project. The amendment he opposes “increases the lot coverage by 10 percentage points for all buildings in all RT, the most dense, residential zones.” Scheirer calls the move made by the Zoning Hearing Board “a Trojan Horse that will enable developers to build even more massive projects as a matter of right.”

Speaking on the issue, Scheirer had the following to say: “Do we want to become a wannabe [sic] small city with pretensions to concentrated urban dynamism, or do we want to retain the delights of a large town that have [sic] bequeathed to us? If the latter, then ask the administration to simply limit the additional 10 percentage points to decks and sheds. What could be easier?”

Minutes after Scheirer vocalized his complaints, the council approved an article that would increase the maximum building coverage in RT districts.

Speaking favorably about the historic buildings, Marsha Fritz said, “Many cities have local organizations that promote the preservation of buildings, but Bethlehem does not. Instead concerned citizens must organize around each threatened building; rarely do they have the resources for the inevitable legal action. Developers know this. So do politicians who can wait out citizens in favor of developers.”

Other business approved by the council included approving the vacation of a portion of Pyatt Street at the intersection of Pyatt Street and Covington Avenue. Nearby properties are owned by Ryaz, Khairunisa, and Mubina Gangji and by Gentle Family Dentistry.

The council also voted to change the definition of a hotel. The new ordinance they passed will reduce the number of rooms a hotel must have. The council also approved use of the Memorial Pool building to the American Association of University Women of Bethlehem for its 2018 Book Fair that will take place from April 26–30. The St. Luke’s University Health Network’s 2018 Boutique at the Rink also received approval from the council to use the Earl E. Schaffer Ice Rink from May 29-June 2.

Want to learn more about what is going on in our community? Contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys today.
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