Bethlehem Township approves development of 220 residences at web site of former Bethlehem Drive-In

Bethlehem Township’s Board of Commissioners authorised Monday the event of 220 residences on the former Bethlehem Drive-In off Easton Avenue.

The plan will not be common, however land use is about by legislation, not referendum, and house owners of property have rights to develop it. The challenge is named Thirty22 Backyard Flats for its tackle, 3022 Easton Ave.

The Wind-Drift Actual Property Associates challenge “consists of eight three to four-story buildings, a clubhouse, widespread open house” together with 480 parking areas and enhancements on and off the location.

Township residents have objected about potential stormwater issues and extra site visitors on Easton Avenue, which is already busy and generally backs up. Making left turns onto the street is tough at a number of spots.

The street is busy from its intersection with Stefko Boulevard east previous the Large buying heart, the T-junction with Butztown Highway, the sunshine on the Butztown Lodge after which Santee Highway, the place site visitors turning left causes different backups.

One other 54 residences are deliberate for the previous Kospia’s Nursery web site throughout from the Large buying heart. That acreage is within the Metropolis of Bethlehem.

The north facet of Easton Avenue – the town facet – is generally residential, whereas the south facet within the township is generally business.

Earlier than the vote, resident Tom Keefer advised the board, “Bear in mind to vote in your folks,” and added “If you happen to get sued (for rejecting the plan), we get sued.”

Township lawyer Jim Broughal mentioned rejecting a plan is just not that easy. Backyard residences are a permitted conditional use on the 14.5-acre web site.

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“If you happen to deny a plan, you may’t say, ‘I do not just like the plan.’ It’s important to state chapter and verse of what provisions of the zoning and subdivision or stormwater ordinance the developer failed to satisfy,” Broughal mentioned. “You’ll be able to’t simply say, ‘I do not prefer it.'”

The vote to approve the land use was 4-1, with Malissa Davis, John Merhottein, John Gallagher and Jan Beatty in favor. Dale Sourbeck voted no. The board additionally authorised land-use variances for the challenge. A type of variances was for the slope of a detention pond.

“This can be a waiver that this board has granted many occasions up to now,” Planning Director Amanda Raudenbush mentioned.

The site visitors challenge stays, however the Pennsylvania Division of Transportation controls Easton Avenue.

“Visitors is god-awful in that entire space,” resident Dayna Snyder mentioned. Raudenbush mentioned the township has labored with PennDOT and the developer to attempt to mitigate the influence.

No plans have been submitted but, however a developer mentioned earlier {that a} Starbucks espresso store could also be constructed on the small lot between the second Large buying heart entrance and the previous drive-in property.

The board additionally authorised a settlement settlement between the township and Steven J. Inc. about zoning conformity property at 4011 Wilson Ave. close to the Lehigh River. Final yr, a township official mentioned landowner Steven Miga was working companies on the web site, resembling a automotive service, that violated the township zoning code.

Particulars of that settlement weren’t obtainable Monday.

The board additionally agreed to spend $428,279 on roof work on the Bethlehem Township Group Heart. Township Supervisor Doug Bruce mentioned bids got here in excessive final yr, and by holding out till 2022, about $40,000 was saved. Price range Renovation & Roofing Inc. was the successful bidder.

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Bethlehem Township additionally welcomed three new law enforcement officials: Jacob Farrell, Amanda Stonehouse, Ryan Bevan.