Preserving a historic landmark - Zoners approve plans for South Bethlehem’s Wilbur Mansion, apartment building
Following a lengthy hearing attended by about 30 people March 23, Bethlehem’s Zoning Hearing Board voted 4-0 to approve a series of dimensional variances that will allow developers John Noble and Bob Ashford, with no government assistance of any kind, to preserve and rejuvenate the historic Wilbur Mansion that serves as a gateway to South Bethlehem.
According to Kannah Dew’s obituary, her “infectious smile” lit up everyone. But at just 17 months of age, her life was snuffed out.
On Feb. 24, 2015, she was rushed from a trailer at the Mountainview Mobile Home Court in Lehigh Township to Palmerton Hospital. But by the time she arrived, she was unresponsive and had no pulse. She was pronounced dead at 8:29 p.m.
Northampton County’s Home Rule Charter has established an Elections Commission, a five-member volunteer board that oversees elections, including the ballot. Members are first selected by the two parties receiving the most votes in the most recent election. Names are forwarded to the executive, who then passes them on to council for confirmation. They serve for two years. No more than three members may belong to the same party. Historically, whichever party is in power gets the three-person majority.
Hanover Township resident Royce Atkins, 22, was arraigned March 17 on criminal charges filed as a result of a Nov. 6, 2015, hit-and-run accident that left a 9-year-old boy dead.
Darious Condash, along with a 14-year-old cousin and 15-year-old friend, had just left a WaWa store on Schoenersville Road, Hanover Township, at about 6:30 p.m. The store is located about a quarter mile from Condash’s home, which was in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.
Following a lengthy hearing March 10, attended by about 20 people, Bethlehem’s Planning Commission voted 4-1 to approve plans for Attorney Dennis Benner’s six-story Greenway Park Building, located along the 300 block of South New Street, along with an 626-space parking garage next door, to be owned and operated by the Bethlehem Parking Authority. The parking garage will be connected to Benner’s building by a pedestrian bridge located 19’ above ground level. This bridge will cross the Greenway between Third and Fourth Streets.
One of the hottest issues in Bethlehem Township is Tradition of America’s (TOA) proposal for a 229-home active senior community next to Green Pond Marsh. This 68-acre parcel is part of lands owned by the Green Pond Country Club. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently designated nearly five of those acres as wetlands. Not just any wetlands. This is home to over 180 different birds species throughout the year in what the Audubon Society recently designated as an “Important Bird Area.”
Northampton County’s founding document, often called its Constitution, is a Home Rule Rule Charter that was written and approved by the voters in 1977. That was long before there were laptops, tablets and iPhones At its March 3 meeting, Northampton County Council unanimously approved a measure designed to both save money and take advantage of the changes brought about by the Internet.
But because it is a change to the Home Rule Charter, it will also have to be approved by the voters during this Spring’s primary.
Bethlehem’s NAACP, founded in 1945, calls itself the “eyes and ears” of social justice in the Christmas City and the Lehigh Valley. President Esther Lee, with her spirited style and church lady hats, is known for contentious town halls and frequent demonstrations on equal rights, education, suffrage, fair housing and other issues affecting us all.
But on Feb. 28, the raised fists of the NAACP were holding forks and spoons as over 250 well-wishers of all races celebrated “the pursuit of liberty and justice for all” at the 71st annual Freedom Fund Banquet held at the Meadows.
At its March 3 meeting, Northampton County Council voted unanimously to take aim at one of the county’s biggest concerns – its 119 bridges. What they passed is a bridge bundling program – first proposed by council member Bob Werner over two years ago – that employs common designs with fewer contracts to improve our infrastructure more efficiently and at less cost.
The legislation passed will bundle 33 bridges and convey them to the county’s General Purpose Authority, which will administer what is called a P3 (Public Private Partnership) program.