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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bethlehem Zoners Grant Relief to Three Homeowners

Despite being wheelchair bound, Charles Bickert (center)
asked zoners to grant relief to his neighbors,
Otilla and Raymond Rivera
A light agenda, combined with little opposition, made for a quick Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board meeting on August 24. All five zoners decided to grant three zoning appeals and were finished in an hour.

The first matter was for a slight dimensional variance that would allow Otilla and Raymond Rivera to build a carport on an existing asphalt pad. Rivera, an ER Physician's Assistant, told zoners that last winter, the heavy and frequent snow convinced him he needed to do something. His neighbor, Charles Bickert, agreed. "He works in a hospital and has to get out," Bickert noted. "This is a benefit to everyone."

In the second matter, Ann Miller was granted a variance that would allow her to run her life and health insurance business from her home. Bill Scheier, who lives at least 1 1/2 miles away from Miller, warned zoners that he office would be too close to nearby Calypso Elementary School. "Society has an ongoing problem with people hanging around schools," warned Scheier, pressing the fear monger button.  Miller ignored Scheier, who produced no evidence that her clients are in any way unusual.

The final matter considered was an expansion at 2111 Boyd Street, in which a proposed master bedroom would be two feet closer to the adjoining rear property than allowed. Owner Francis Macklin explained that his back yard is fenced, and there are 15-18' arborvitae between his and the rear property.

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