The Bethlehem Planning Commission gave unanimous approval Thursday to a subdivision plan for new townhouses at the northeast corner of East Boulevard and Chester Road, and tabled a request for relief from creating a pedestrian pathway along William Street.
The Meadows Townhomes’ proposal includes the creation of 16 new lots from 17.662 acres. Four sets of two-and-a-half story structures with four townhouses in each set would feature porches and one-car garages to the rear of the property. A 24-foot road would ring the development. According to the proposal, the 17th lot will remain with the existing 168 apartments and eight townhouses.
Attorney James Preston said the developer will work with the city on sewer connections and a minimal storm water issue, and upgrade curb ramps for handicap accessibility.
Preston did, however, ask planners to remove foundation planting requirements from the record plan. He said the request was being made because some plantings will be determined and added by the townhouse owners or by the developer. In approving the proposal, planners agreed to remove the landscaping requirement.
Mountain Park Condominium developer Bill Simonds sought relief from installing a 4-foot-wide pedestrian pathway along the entire frontage of the development on the 1100 block of William Street, saying his company has been unable to solve slope issues for installation of the pathway.
He cited potential problems with washouts in some areas of the pathway where a 12- to 14-foot drop in grade could prevent pedestrian use and create a potential liability.
“We’re civic-minded,” Simonds said, noting, “We don’t want to do something that no one will use." He said a stone path can be installed, but maintenance would be “a nightmare.”
Planners tabled the request, urging Simonds to seek a solution to accommodate pedestrian traffic.
“I’d like to see something that gets people off the street,” concluded planner Andrew Twiggar.