Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bethlehem Tp Zoners Accept Treatment Center

In a meeting conducted last night, with only one day's notice to Northampton County, Bethlehem Township's Zoning Hearing Board finally decided to accept Judge Franciosa's decision approving a 300-bed county treatment and work release center. It's located on Fritch Drive in an industrial park, nearly a mile from the nearest home.

In approving the use, Franciosa directed zoners to impose reasonable conditions. According to Northampton County Executive John Stoffa, they've already received a set of proposed conditions from Bethlehem Township, and the ZHB will discuss them on May 19th at 6PM. Instead of acting in the open, as is their practice with all their other deliberations, they plan to do this in executive session. Why the secrecy?

Stoffa seemed pleased and relieved. "After a long, long fight, it's moving forward," he said.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks like Atiyeh will get his campaign support finally rewarded. Sorry to the residents affected by this drug treatment hub.

Dave said...

Affected residents? Nobody lives within a mile of the site! Get off your horse and accept a little humble pie..fella!

Anonymous said...

Makes it easier for them to walk the 1/4 mile to the methadone clinic.

Anonymous said...

Atiyeh is never going to agree to the conditions the Board imposes...check out the express-times article this morning talking about the conditions Bethlehem Township wants in. Atiyeh will appeal the conditions.

Also, this thing still needs to go through planning, the commissioners will find ways to hold it up there and impose more conditions.

This thing won't be built for years.

Not sure why the comment about notice to Northampton County. First, the zoning board just announced at a public meeting they would be having another meeting to discuss the imposition of conditions. The meeting will be an executive session, which is legal to deliberate the conditions, as long as they vote on the conditions in public. The matter was not discussed in detail. Also, Northampton County is not technically a party to the zoning appeal. Who cares if they got notice, they were not entitled to receive it.

Dave said...

This project will save money..tax dollars. It will move people out of the prison who don't need to be exposed to that crowd. It will help hasten the closing of the oldest parts of the jail and thus lower costs for housing/security. Use your brains and see the future..be the future!

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, a local township had a valuable parcel at a prominent intersection available for development. They were approached by a non-denominational church, which tended to cater to minorities. The supervisors took a strict stance against adjusting zoning to accomodate the church, even though there were two churches already located at the very same intersection. The church sued, they won, they (turnabout being fair play) decided to sell the property to a developer who put up a densely populated community of suburban homes. Instead of a once a week disruption to the existing neighborhood, there are now more than 100 homes, with God knows how many bikes, cars, people , pets, daily traffic and daylong noise... well, you get the picture.

We really depend upon the boobs we place in office to do the right things and very often we are disappointed. We really need to pay attention and see to it that we have the right people in the right places.

Study the issues, register and make certain to vote...please!

VOR

Anonymous said...

Your knack for photo selection is hitting on all cylinders. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Dave tell me how this is going to be cheaper for the tax payers,all it does is open another 300 beds that the tax payer will still have to pay for,the inmates dont just go away and it certainly wont hasten the closing of the old section of the jail,tell me what they plan to do with the inmates that are housed in the old section,make them disapear!What about the company that is going to run the so called treatment center are they going to do this for free ah another expense for the tax payer along with the rent for the building and expanding the medical staff to cover your bogus treatment center,so in closing Ithink it is you that should your brain to really think hard about the future,and im sure this will devalue the properties that surround this center.USE YOU BRAIN!!

Anonymous said...

Abe and Stoffa what a marriage.THANKS FOR THE CAMPAIGN DONATION ABE!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave where do you live,probably far away from this proposed center.

Anonymous said...

Dave is an Easton resident who is a convict activist. His heart bleeds for the prisoners and wants them out and about in YOUR neighborhood.

He spouts junk statistics put together by advocates and money makers off these "treatment" centers.

Facts are they turn into just regular prisons to handle the overflow at the prison.

just so much bullshit. But the bright side is Abe will do fine. I guess he will be paid in full for his 10 foot Stoffa campaign signs.

Dave said...

Try attending a prison advisory board meeting..open to the public.. and then you can find out the facts on costs and other issues that overly concern your small minds. When you move 300 people off site at lower cost due to smaller staff needs you save money and now have 300 beds empty at the jail and at the work release building. You still following this? WTF don't you get?

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem Twsp. deserves this more than you can know. How's that mortgage payment on your mansion working out? They're your criminals too and they're coming home.

Dave said...

You don't hire more staff..you now have extra at the jail who transfer to treatment. The place is a rental building..the county doesn't own it. It's called humane treatment..what a concept!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Bethlehem Twsp. deserves this more than you can know. How's that mortgage payment on your mansion working out? They're your criminals too and they're coming home.

5:47 AM

What a poor pathetic hater you are.
Bad choices or just not up to the challenge of life?

To the ownership of a township's criminals, though, I would agree.

Too bad that we are so enlightened now that every municipality can't just have some stocks or public cages to put their own in. Cheap, easy, and humiliating to the point that we might just see deterrence.

Instead, we've elected to create a massive, bureaucractic, capital and labor intensive sector of government with highly paid experts on treatment, powerful labor unions, workout rooms, libraries, and even law degrees for lifers, etc. What a scam.

And how has that approach worked out for us so far?

Anonymous said...

Dave you say it is a rental building,but who pays the rent,ah the taxpayers.Do you think for one minute that the judges will not fill up the 300 so called beds if they know that there is now moore room.Hmm sounds like all you have done is added on 300 more inmates to the system that the taxpayer has to pay for!You know and the people know you cant afford to shut down any parts of the jail.So stop blowing smoke up peoples asses,we all know the reality of the situation,

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, shutting down part of the jail is exactly what is going to happen. The old part of the jail, built around the time of the Civil War, will be closed. The cost of maintaining that portion of the jail is nearly equal to or may even be the same as the cost of this new treatment center. The intention is NOT to create more warehousing but to provide a facility that actually treats inmates so that, in the long run, there are less of them.

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd just put this out there, because I've been at some of the recent meetings. One of the "reasonable conditions" the township is placing on Atiyeh's treatment center is that (if he agrees) it can never be converted into a real prison, never expanded to that use. I think it's highly possible that if Atiyeh accepts that condition, he will later, once the facility is built, try to challenge/change the zoning laws, saying that it's not a prison and that zoning requires the twp. to find a place for a prison. He will want to expand it. I think this is true, because if not, Stoffa would not see the building of a small 300 person rehab center (only 100 permitted to stay over night)as such a Godsend for Easton's overcrowded prison system. Atiyeh apparently has a history of overturning/challenging zoning successfully, and the language of the township's requests may give him the legal footing he needs to turn a prisoner treatment center into a prison. Think about it.
By calling it a prisoner treatment center the idea becomes accepted that it's main use is for prisoners...by calling it simply a rehab or treatment center it can also disqualify it from being prison related...then zoning has to allow for the use for another prison. Where would the most logical place be for the prison? Either way the language of their request could legally do the township in. Am I just ignorant? Or does anyone see how this could be? (Not saying it's good or bad one way or another, just pointing it out.)