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Daycare Denied; SouthSide Subdivision Allowed

Zoning Hearing Board approves variance for hillside subdivision in South Bethlehem; but denies special exception for daycare center in Northeast Bethlehem.


An appeal for dimensional variances to subdivide a lot at 816 Meade St. into two lots received unanimous approval from the Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board, while an appeal for a special exception to establish a daycare in a home at 1730 Easthill Drive was denied.

Meade Street owners Douglas Miller and Craig Miller sought the variances to split their property into two lots -- one for construction of a two-family dwelling on steep slopes and the other lot having an existing single family dwelling.

Variances were granted from the required one-acre minimum lot area required to a proposed lot area of 5,952.8 feet, and from the maximum impervious coverage of 25 percent allowed to a proposed 56.7 percent for the new construction. A variance also was granted from the minimum lot depth required of 100 feet to a proposed 79.37 feet for both lots. 

Concerns about adequate off-street parking and water runoff were voiced at the hearing held last week. A property owner at the corner of Jackson and Meade streets pointed to water runoff issues, saying that each change in the development of the area can “add up” to a volume of water that would affect his property.  The Millers’ attorney said the developers can meet all concerns “so the impact will not be severe” on any nearby properties.

Neighbors objecting to a proposed Family Daycare Center at 1730 Easthill Drive told zoners they want their area, which is zoned residential, “to remain residential.”

Pilar Sanchez had sought a special exception to care for about a half-dozen children from infants to 6 years of age from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays in her bi-level home. Daycare facilities are permitted in a residential area by special exception.

 “This sets an open precedent for others to open a business,” said Joseph Mikitka, a Johnston Drive resident. Some voiced concerns that the applicant and property owner could not meet state requirements for such a facility. Sanchez said her property has not yet been inspected by the Department of Welfare.  A special exception was denied.


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