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Lehigh Valley

Development remains a concern for Bethlehem Township residents

BETHLEHEM TWP. Pa. - Bethlehem Township community members were present at the Board of Commissioners' meeting Monday evening, to express their concerns about the potential for increased traffic due to new development in the township.

Residents concerns revolve around the proposed Green Pond housing development and the possible development of land the township owns located behind the former V-7 Golf Driving Range on Farmersville Road.

Resident Melissa Davis said she is deeply concerned with the impact traffic will have on the township if both developments move forward.

"Almost all of you have been against development because of traffic," she said. "So, I really think we have an expectancy you'll take traffic seriously."

Glenn Krier, a resident of the township, also spoke out against development that may occur.

"I'm very concerned with the Chrin project," he said. "Putting a movie theater and Wawa where the V-7 used to be would be a disaster."

He urged the commissioners to consider other alternative uses for the property which will not have a detrimental impact on the township.

"I hope you don't consider this particular project," Krier said.

Commissioner D. Martin Zawarski said the property in question behind V-7 is property the township owns, which developer Charles Chrin has expressed an interest in purchasing.

Zawarski added he is not aware of any definitive plans regarding development taking place.

"To our knowledge there are no conversations pertaining to that," he said.

The other development the residents are concerned about involves building 265 homes at the Green Pond Country Club in the northeastern section of the community.

In addition to traffic, the residents said they are concerned with the impact the development will have on wildlife such as bird species and storm water run off.

Zawarski said Traditions of America, Bethlehem, has already submitted plans to the township for the development.

In other business, the commissioners unanimously approved that the township enters into an agreement with Spillman Farmer Architects, Bethlehem, for architectural services and advertising for bid construction of the Housenick mansion, located on Christian Spring Road.

Township Manager Melissa A. Shafer told the commissioners Spillman will provide recommendations relating to repair structures, windows and installing ADA compliant toilet rooms.

She said the project is estimated at $17,000.

Resident Santa Wright said she is bothered by the amount of money that will be spent on the project.

Commissioner Michael D. Hudak said the money will be coming out of a trust fund set up by the estate.

He stressed the township has been cautious in not investing money into the project.

"This amount of money we would be looking to apply to the Housenick trust for reimbursement," Shafer added.

Zawarski said he has full confidence in Spillman doing the project based on the details already provided to the firm.

"The home is a very complex home with how it was built," he said. "I'm happy they [Spillman] are coming forward and wanting to do the work."

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