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Monday, March 28, 2016

Bethlehem Zoners Authorize Group Yoga, Auto Repair

Plans to renovate the Wilbur Mansion were approved by Bethlehem's Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday night, but two other matters were considered as well. They authorized group yoga and an auto repair shop, but not together.

Wendy Littner Thomson, who operates a grief counseling service from her home at 408 N.New St, was given permission to include small group yoga. She testified and presented literature that therapeutic yoga "is one of the most effective ways to deal with PTSD, grief, depression and anxiety." The Zoning Hearing Board also granted her request for counseling sessions on weekends, limited to 12 times a year. But she will be unable to include group yoga on weekends.

Thomson was represented by Attorney Robert Littner.

Zoners also gave Juan Gonzalez a green light to operate an auto repair shop at 818-820 Evans Street, limited to small repairs and no body work. There was an auto repair shop at that location, but it was destroyed by fire in 2006, and only the building's shell has remained.

Gonzalez was before the Board in February, but agreed to wait a month so that his file could be examined He was reluctant to agree to a continuance because, as he explained to zoners, he needs to get to work

But when his case was called on March 23, he was absent. He had the wrong time and would have missed out completely had Zoning Officer Suzanne Borzak not called him to ask where he was.

"You were nervous about being held up and then you almost missed a hearing," teased Bill Fitzpatrick, who voted to re-activate the use variance. "It's a great project to help the South Side," said Linda Shay Gardner.

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