About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nine Year Old Fails to Sway Bethlehem's ZHB

First Baseman Eric Frey
It's hard to say no to a nine year old, but Bethlehem zoners did that at their April 26 hearing. They gave Joseph D'Ambrosio the green light for a rental unit on a side yard at the end of nine row homes at 215 E 5th Street. In doing so, they had to ignore the plea of a nine year old first baseman who came right from his game, cleats and all, to argue against the variances

D'Amrosio's architect, John Lee, called the large grassy area at the end of these row homes "worthless." His attorney, Jeremy Clark, added it was "unusable and uneconomic". But Sarah Taylor called it "the only grass left in South Bethlehem," and expressed concern about adding traffic to an "already crowded area."

Concerns about noise from raucous Lehigh students were also raised.

That's where nine year-old Eric Frey got involved. "It makes me sick," he told zoners. Noisy Lehigh students wake him in the middle of the night . Eric also mentioned finding a vodka bottle in the bushes.

He denied drinking from it.

D'Ambrosio assured zoners that he runs a "tight ship." He agreed that some Lehigh students do cause problems, but "I don't tolerate that." He also offered to take Frey and his mom on a tour.

Michael Santanasto was the sole zoner to vote against adding a row home.


Anonymous said...

lehigh students will turn this into yet another south side dump but the land lord just cares about his money. this guy is not a good citizen

Al Bernotas said...

1323.04 Additions and Enlargements
A lawful nonconforming use or structure shall only be expanded if the following requirements are met:

b) Special exception approval shall be required...


Once again, the Zoning Hearing Board functions without knowing the law, or, by ignoring the law.

This appeal required a Special Exception.

Ignorance is bliss

Anonymous said...

Looking at the agenda online, the property wasn't nonconforming as a structure or use Al, so therefore that provision doesn't (and can't) apply.

Again, the critics of the Board do not know what they are talking about yet think they do.

Al Bernotas said...

The appeal was improperly written, and not researched adequately, a common mistake with the Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board. And if you have the chops to use your name in this blog, I would be happy to discuss the issue further.

Mark Baker said...


Why do you waste your time and frustrate yourself on these uneducated anon cowards? You say they lack chops. I say they have no balls.

Al Bernotas said...


Thanks for your comment.

I respond occasionally because it gives me a chance to air out, somewhat publicly, the garbage that goes on with the Zoning Hearing Board. They trampled on my neighborhood, and I will not forget it.

There is a new zoning officer, and three new members of the board. That gives me hope. And the two members of the board who have been around for quite a while, maybe they will come around, be more supportive of neighbors and neighborhoods. The Zoning Hearing Board forgets that the residents of the city deserve to be protected by the zoning ordinance. The residents of the city deserve to live in peace and harmony. Those seeking appeals from the zoning ordinance are not the only property owners in town. Neighbors are also property owners. So, each appeal that has objectors should be treated in an evenhanded way. The zoning hearing board should not come out and shake hands with any appellants after they have issued a decision, as they did when they decided in favor of Elias Farmers Market. They came out and shook hands with everyone in the Elias Family. No favoritism there. It was sickening. I am going to shake their tree for a long time to come, especially their solicitor, who leads them.

Anonymous said...

Bake Marker said..


Mark is right. We all hate this anonymous cowards who do not tell you who they are when they criticize you. It is indeed a shame they do not have the courage we do.

Donation Can said...

I'm confused. It's a grassy lot and they want to build more rowhomes for rentals? Is there a baseball field nearby and that's how the 9 year old came from a game?

Sorry, the story is a bit unclear.