Council approves zoning ordinance Controversial corner lot issue to be resolved
The Bethlehem City Council replaced the zoning ordinance Aug. 7 in a 6 to 1 vote for final passage, in spite of pleas from several residents to amend the paragraph related to use of corner lots.
It was the first significant revision of the ordinance in several decades.
The issue of corner lot or corner building use was not resolved, but there seems to be a consensus among members to revisit the paragraph, which was poorly written, according to one of its authors, resident and former candidate for city Controller William Scheirer.
According to Councilwoman Karen Dolan, the Community Development Committee, under the leadership of Councilman David DiGiacinto, will prepare a revision to the ordinance that, according to residents opposing the change, opens a loophole for unwanted commercial development of residential areas. DiGiacinto voted against the ordinance, mainly because of the corner lot issue.
Dolan, who agreed that the paragraph should have been caught before it was too late to make changes without unduly delaying the ordinance, said that even if commercial developers move to develop corner lots in residential areas, they still need to get variances from the Zoning Hearing Board.
The Community DevelThe Community Development Committee will meet publically Sept. 5 at which time they may discuss a revised paragraph.
In other business, the council revised the ordinance governing the accounting procedures for the city. The move shifted responsibility for accounting to the business office and away from the controller.
According to City Controller Robert Phenning, the accounting function should not be for the controller but more appropriately is a function of the administration's business office.