|Neighbor Sam Gonzalez|
Gonzalez already has two apartments at this property. One of them is a small apartment on the first floor. But he told zoners it is very difficult to find responsible tenants for the second apartment, which consists of the second and third floor of the home.
After purchasing the property in 1989, Gonzalez lived on the second and third floor. He moved out four years ago, and has no problem finding tenants, but they are unacceptable. Gonzalez' daughter, Mayra Antongiorgi added she is a District Court clerk and did background checks on possible renters. She discovered that landlord tenant complaints have been filed against them, calling them "habitual offenders."
Bethlehem's Zoning Ordinance requires on off-street parking spot for each of the rooms rented. Gonzalez insisted that law is unfair, especially since most of his tenants don't drive.
The boarding house proposal was strongly opposed by other nearby property owners.
Sam Gonzalez, no relation to Julio, is a disabled vet who has lived in the area for 15 years. He said there are a lot of problems, and a boarding house will only make it worse. Hospital worker Milagros Rivas told zoners she frequently works night shift and starts to "feel nervous" when she has to walk long distances from her car to her home. She called the proposed boarding house a "revolving door" that will become a major security issue.
Thomas Gilles, a landlord with numerous properties, said he refuses to invest in boarding houses because they only attract "derelicts and drug addicts." He called it an "accident waiting to happen."
Though boarding houses were panned, zoners approved a day care at 1889 Lynnfield Terrace for Community Services for Children. That property, owned by the Bethlehem Housing Authority, is leased to Community Services to provide programs for up to 20 Head Start children.