BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. — At the request of the plaintiff, the Bethlehem Township Planning Commission on Monday filed preliminary/final plans and conditional use submission for 4406 Easton Ave.
Andrew Bohl, a representative from Hanover Engineering, told the meeting that the plaintiff — New Jersey-based Highview Commercial LLC — would first like to have discussions with township staff members to address their technical concerns before to make a presentation to the committee.
Last year, the plaintiff submitted sketch plans for a 36-unit apartment building and a Sheetz convenience store. He wasn’t sure if the development would consist of both, or just the apartment building.
To date, the developer is moving forward with two proposed apartment buildings, for a total of 96 units. Building One is proposed at 25,150 square feet and Building Two is proposed at 12,623 square feet.
The property north of the site on Easton Avenue is Blue Grillhouse and to the south is Shively’s Moving and Storage. To the west of the proposed development is vacant land, which is being developed into a St. Luke’s Medical Building, according to Bohl.
Bohl said the applicant is proposing a driveway for entry and exit, and there is more parking included in the plan than was on the original sketch plan.
In a previous meeting before the Zoning Hearing Board, the board granted the developer a waiver to build the three-story structure 45 feet high from the finished ground to the top of the roof.
Speaker Leslie Walker expressed concern about the building’s height and proximity to the road, saying these aspects can make the street appear narrower than it is.
Walker doesn’t want the township to have the appearance of a city, he said, asking the claimant to consider removing the L-shaped building from the corner of the roads.
Urban planner Don Wright also expressed disapproval of the “tall L-shaped building” and its proximity to nearby roads.
He noted that one entrance was potentially a problem because traffic was piling up on Easton Avenue and Farmersville Road, and he would like to see another entrance “at least for emergency vehicles.”
“Please make sure to include them in your conversations as you sort things out,” Wright said.
Wright also cited stormwater issues in front of the building and mentioned a nearby floodplain at the end of the property on Farmersville Road.
“Make sure you fix all these issues,” he said.