Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bethlehem ZHB Approves Gas Station at New Walmart

Bethlehem's Zoning Hearing Board, at their October 26 hearing unanimously approved a gas station at a new Walmart Supercenter proposed at the intersection of Commerce Center Boulevard and Hellertown Road. this is the only zoning relief needed for the new Walmart, which will be located on an 18-acre tract. That Walmart still needs planning approval.

In other business, the Board approved a boarding house for Miriam Rodriquez at 822 W Broad Street. (I missed that hearing as I was enroute from Easton).

They also granted a variance so that Robert and Ruth Walden could place solar panels as close as seven inches from the edge of their roof at 1508 W Market Street. Zoning Officer Suzanne Borzak was concerned that placing the panel that close to the edge would hamper firefighters in the event of an emergency,  but architect Brian Baker indicated that there were numerous other places on the roof where firefighters could stand, and added they could stand on the solar panels as well.    

By a 4-1 vote, they denied a use variance for Antonio Cabon for a auto repair service at 1449-1453 E 6th St, in a residential neighborhood. Tom Gillis, who owns property in that neighborhood, opposed the variance because of concerns over pollution and customers parking in an area where he loses tenants over a lack of parking. Cabon had previously been issued a cease and desist order at that location.

"If he has any neighbors that he's done anything wrong to, he's sorry," he said through an interpreter.


Anonymous said...

Big News in the Valley !

Anonymous said...

It may not be "big news", but I'm glad that Bernie covers zoning hearings. The process is not well understood, and even Bernie will admit he isn't an expert. A ise variance should rarely be granted, and it's good to see the ZHB did the right thing in that matter. The solar panel setback from roof edges flows from fire safety guidelines, and it is common sense that if access is available from a different direction, a variance may be warranted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I learn a lot at those zoning hearings, and do regard it as a public service. Believe me, I had just been at a 2.5 hour hearing and wanted to go home. I went to the zoning hearng because I owe that to my readers and bc I have such high regard for the people there. The applicants are almost always very nice as are the attorneys representing them. I love Suzanne Borzak, whom I consider one of the finest civil servants out there. And the board itself is so good. Very fair. Very patient. I would probably be too easy. I like to portray myself as anti-developer, but usually like ever plan I see.

Patriot2 said...

Who voted FOR the use variance for the auto repair shop-Jim Shantz I would speculate?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wow! You got it.