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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Perrucci Plans 420-Unit Luxury Apartment Complex in Rural Bethlehem Township

A 420-unit luxury apartment complex and commercial buildings in a rural residential areas, located right next to the proposed Housenick Memorial Park, received a chilly reception from Bethlehem Township Commissioners at their May 16 meeting. In addition to proposing 3-story apartment buildings next to a passive recreation park, developer Michael Perrucci and Woodmont Properties' Steven M. Varneckas were informed their proposal would need a major rezoning.

Vicky Bastidas, a member of the Housenick Committee, summed it up. "That's a lot of housing in a very small area," she stated of the proposed mixed use development of Central Moravian Church property located at the intersection of Christian Spring Road and Route 191. She also complained about 3-story highrises. "You can't hide that with a berm."

Bastidas also pointed out that the development is being planned in a conservation area along the Monocacy Creek, as well as a migration path with an "enormous amount of wildlife."

While Comm'rs Tom Nolan, Mike Hudak and Paul Weiss all suggested they would keep an "open mind" until the Housenick Park master plan is finished, they were still dubious. "What we are trying to achieve with the Housenick projected may be in jeopardy with this kind of development sitting on top of it," worried Nolan.

Commissioner Jerry Batcha, referring to a 2004 comprehensive plan that calls for this area to remain rural,stated he had already had a "negative" view of the concept, and questioned what impact this development would have on Route 191, which "gets backed up during rush hour." Noting there are some real safety concerns he asked "Do we want to rezone for sch an intense use?"

Not yet. Commissioners told Perrucci to come back again when they have a Master Plan for the Housenick Memorial Park, which they predict will be sometime in August.


Anonymous said...

Maybe they should use Abes tactics to get this shoved down peoples throats.

Anonymous said...

It's not that Bethlehem Township is difficult to deal with, it's just that developers are pitching lousy projects that nobody wants outside of the cities who will take anything.