Controversial developer Abraham Atiyeh may soon withdraw his applications with and lawsuits against Bethlehem to try to bring a drug and alcohol treatment center to the city.
The city may be on the verge of an agreement with Atiyeh in which he would be allowed to develop a treatment center on a property zoned for industrial use, according to The Morning Call.
The newspaper quotes both Atiyeh and Joe Kelly, the city’s director of Community and Economic Development, who confirmed that negotiations for an industrial location are under way.
In the last two years, Atiyeh has tried to obtain approvals to develop a treatment center on vacant land at Center Street and Dewberry Avenue; across the street at the former Calvary Baptist Church; 2110 Center St.; the former Moose & Bug Flower Shop at 2349 Linden St.; and the old Bethlehem Silk Mill at 238 Goepp St.
But all of the proposed locations were in residential neighborhoods, which troubled neighbors and city officials who made their feelings known at a seemingly endless series of Zoning Hearing Board meetings.
All of the proposals have either been rejected by the Zoning Hearing Board and were subject to court appeals or were still on the docket for Zoning Board consideration with City Council and the Callahan administration fighting against the plans.