2 New Apartment Buildings Obtain Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board Approval | Lehigh Valley Regional News

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BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania — The Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board has approved the necessary variances to allow construction of an apartment building at 2854 Linden St., near the corner of Butztown Road.

The plan presented to the board on Wednesday calls for a three-story, 200-foot building with 36 apartments and 72 parking spaces. The 2.9 acre lot would normally allow for a 180 foot, 36 berth building.

The owners of the land, Dino and Joanna Cantelmi, have lived on the property in a single family home for 22 years and have only recently moved to a new home just up the road.

Dino Cantelmi said he wanted to remain involved in the development of the lot rather than selling the property to a developer as he “wanted to retain control”.

He said he came up with the three-story design rather than the four or five stories allowed by ordinance because he thought it would fit in better with the neighborhood.

A handful of residents of neighboring Lark Court condominiums have spoken out against the project. Several said they did not entirely oppose it, but preferred a previously rejected plan that would have oriented the apartment building facing Butztown Road.

However, resident Margaret Cox said she didn’t like the idea at all.

“I think it’s going to change the whole neighborhood,” Cox said. “The neighborhood density should not be increased.”

Goepp Street West

Council also approved variances for an 18-unit apartment building at 130 West Goepp St., on land that currently houses two auto repair garages.

Current residential zoning requires the building to be near the front of the lot, with parking behind, but according to project engineer Joe Rentko, the slope of the property makes this difficult.

Due to the slope, it would be difficult to create access that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and firefighters would have difficulty getting a truck in or out in an emergency.

The proposed design would place the apartment building further back on the lot, with parking in front, allowing builders more space to install less steep ramps.

Darlene Heller, the city’s director of planning and zoning, shared a letter from Mayor William Reynolds who called the proposal “just the kind of redevelopment project Bethlehem needs.”

She said removing the garages would eliminate two non-conforming uses and replace them with the type of residential units the area is zoned for.

Business developments

JG Petrucci Co. has received approval to construct a 53,700 square foot facility at 1010 Harvard Ave.

The building will have 63 parking spaces and eight loading docks, and could be used for manufacturing or as a small warehouse and distribution center, depending on future tenants.

The board also approved a 30,000 gallon propane tank for Deiter Brothers Fuel Company at 1226 Stefko Blvd. With the new tank, Deiter Brothers will be able to offer retail propane sales from its Bethlehem location, which the company already does at its Easton location. This use will be in addition to the fuel oil business that Deiter Brothers has operated there since 1944.

Amicus PA, a property management company, was denied a use waiver to open an office on the ground floor of its building at 329-337 S. New St.

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