Perhaps the most damning testimony were statistics presented by Allentown police Capt. Glen Dorney about police responses to two nearby convenience stores open all night – the 7-Eleven at Seventh and Linden and the Gulf Mart at Seventh and Tilghman.
Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. so far this year, reported Dorney, police have responded to 106 calls at that 7-Eleven and to 63 calls at that Gulf Mart.
He said most problems occur between 1 and 3 a.m., after bars close, adding there often are clashes between people under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Dorney said the city opposes keeping A-1 open 24 hours a day because it will create another nuisance, straining the police department and its officers.
Unger complained that, with so many police calls, city taxpayers are subsidizing the cost of providing security at those two stores. He said they should employ their own security.
Allentown zoning supervisor Barbara Nemith told the zoning board A-1 legally can operate from 6 a.m. until midnight, but needs zoners’ approval to be open between midnight and 6 a.m.
Zoners ruled keeping the store open all night would create a nuisance for nearby residents.