|Greg Zebrowski & Stew Early|
Now this group, which calls itself the North Bethlehem Action Committee, is taking aim at three other rehabs being proposed by by Atiyeh. But group members Stewart Early and Greg Zebrowski, at City Council's April 17 meeting, did more than encourage them to join their fight. They also suggested changes to Bethlehem's zoning ordinance that will effectively prevent rehab centers from locating near schools, by imposing a 1000' buffer from schools.
A new zoning ordinance being considered by City Council would impose a 500' buffer.
Undaunted by his March loss before Bethlehem zoners, Atiyeh has submitted plans for three new residential treatment facilities:
- 2110 Center Street: 28 beds, at Center and Dewberry, next door to the former Calvary Baptist Church and only a few hundred feet from Bethlehem Catholic High Schol;
- 2349 Linden Street: 47 beds at the former Moose and Bug flower shop, within 1000' of Spring Garden Elementary School; and,
- 238 West Goepp Street: 100 beds at the Silk Mill apartments, within 1000' of LV Children' Center and William Penn Elementary School.
The Center and Linden Street applications, which are for "special exceptions," are scheduled to be heard by zoners on Monday, April 30, at 6 PM.
Early told City Council that a 1000' buffer "sends a strong signal that locating a rehab facility close to our schools, playgrounds, and parks is not in the best interest of Bethlehem." He also urged city lawmakers to identify "specific locations" where a drug and alcohol treatment center would be appropriate.
Zebrowski called the numerous rehab proposals a "theater of the absurd," and asked City Council to monitor the proceedings and "support the neighborhoods."
City Council opposed Atiyeh's request for a drug rehab facility at the now vacant Calvary Baptist Church.