Bethlehem Press

Monday, July 13, 2020

Can't we all just get along?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 by The Press in Opinion

Although they've been up in arms about nearly every other Abe Atiyeh zoning proposal, Bethlehem citizens had few complaints about a proposed 150-bed residential treatment facility at 825 12th Ave. It's an isolated location at the former Synthetic Thread property, where Atiyeh had originally planned apartments.

Even Stewart Early, a thorn in Atiyeh's side in previous zoning requests, told Atiyeh he was pleased.

Although zoners granted Atiyeh the necessary variance, it was conditioned on his agreement to withdraw a multitude of other appeals for residential treatment centers, including one to be located right by Bethlehem Catholic HS.

But then Atiyeh decided to appeal the decision, even though it gave him precisely what he wanted. That's because Atiyeh believes zoners have no legal authority to force him to withdraw one set of zoning appeals in order to get relief in an unrelated request.

Now Bethlehem has fired back.

On Aug. 24, the city decided to appeal the Zoning Hearing Board's decision too. Bethlehem's new zoning ordinance, which the administration supported, provides for treatment centers like the one at 825 12th Ave. So essentially, the city is challenging its own zoning ordinance.

So Atiyeh is appealing a decision giving him the relief he wanted while the city is challenging its own zoning ordinance.

Does any of this make any sense?