Bethlehem Press

Monday, February 17, 2020

Bethlehem Council: Historic zone proposal revised

Thursday, July 11, 2013 by ANDREW CASS Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

A public hearing for an amendment to an ordinance protecting historic buildings from demolition not located in historic zones will be held Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

The ordinance was passed in April, protecting buildings such Illick's Mill, Burnside Plantation and the main commons of Liberty HS.

At the time of the vote, Council member Karen Dolan expressed concern over a section of the ordinance that would allow council to approve the destruction of a building if it is a part of a larger neighborhood redevelopment plan. Dolan said that section was the "exact opposite" of what the ordinance was developed to do.

Dolan made a motion at the April 2 meeting to make significant changes to the ordinance, but failed to get a second. Had Dolan's proposed amendment passed, the bill would have been sent back to the planning commission and the process would have started over again.

Council member J. William Reynolds said he supported Dolan's idea but it was more important to pass the bill first and then amend it later.

"Rather then send it back through the whole process, if we pass it and take a look at that particular language we would be able to kill two birds with one stone," Reynolds said in April.

The bill was eventually reviewed by the community development committee at a June 24 meeting. The committee unanimously approved the deletion of the concerned section from the ordinance.

In addition to a public hearing, Reynolds said the amended ordinance will also go before both the city planning commission and Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

The next city council meeting is July 16 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.