North Bethlehem Action Committee

North Bethlehem Action Committee
Protecting the future of our neighborhood

 

Mr. Atiyeh proposes 2 drug and alcohol residential treatment facilities while appealing the approval of a third rehab facility.

Despite his previous commitment to withdraw these applications, Mr. Atiyeh has submitted applications for two residential treatment centers:

These are in addition to an approved 150 bed drug and alcohol treatment facility at 825 12th Avenue in an industrial district of Bethlehem which he is currently appealing. Further, Mr. Atiyeh is appealing the recent decision by Judge Smith to remand his application for a 125 bed drug, alcohol and psychiatric hospital at 1838 Center Street to Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board.

Neither the City nor the neighbors think the locations at 2110 Center and 2349 Linden are appropriate. Mayor Callahan, Council President Eric Evans and Community & Economic Development Director Joe Kelly all expressed opposition to these specific locations. City Council has instructed their solicitor, Christopher Spadoni, to intervene in opposition to these applications. Bethlehem Catholic High School has intervened in opposition to the 2110 Center Street application. Bethlehem Area School Board has sent representatives to speak about the 2349 Linden Street application.  When taken together with all the locations Atiyeh is pursuing, they would make Bethlehem into a sizeable drug and alcohol treatment destination with nearly 350 beds in four separate facilities.

Both the applications for 2110 Center and 2349 Linden require hearings with the Zoning Hearing Board. Two hearing have already been held for each application. A third hearing for 2110 Center Street is scheduled for November 20, 2012.


The application for 2349 Linden Avenue has been revised/re-advertised twice. The first full meeting is scheduled for November 29, 2012.

The status of the approved 150 bed rehab facility at 825 12th Avenue is confusing. Atiyeh’s application to the Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board for special exception and variance was formally approved on July 27, 2012. But Atiyeh did not like the conditions which he had accepted during the hearing process and thus appealed on August 24, 2012. On the same day, the City also appealed. One of the disputed conditions is that Atiyeh withdraw his applications for rehab facilities at 2110 Center and 2349 Linden. The cases have been consolidated for the purposes of the appeals. Briefs are expected during November and December and arguments are to take place on January 4, 2013.


The application for a 125 bed drug, alcohol and psychiatric hospital at 1838 Center Street was appealed by Atiyeh last year. On October 5, 2012, Northampton County Judge Smith remanded the proposal to Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board to determine whether the project is permitted. Apparently Atiyeh has decided to appeal this decision.


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