Time for some citizen action

(The latest in a series of posts on the Southside and Neighborhoods
and Affordable Housing)

Why was nothing done in the 7 years since the original 2012 Antalics article?

The Mayor politely tamped down the South Bethlehem Historical Society letter of May 22.

There’s been no formal response from Council, though CMs Negron and Callahan did have a kind of “conversation” about it at the June 16 Council meeting.

Do you sense that anybody will step up now when we just have news of a newcomer developer making a big investment in the Southside?

I’ll bet not.

What to do?

Rattle City Hall and Council. Somebody has to step up. Email contact info for the Mayor and Council members can be found on the Gadfly sidebar. Your responses don’t have to be particularly involved. Go for it if you want to. But simply saying you agree with the point Stephen makes, and you’d like to know what’s going to be done would do it. Expressing a legitimate sense of urgency would help immensely.

And how about follow-up letters to the Morning Call? Let’s show this is an issue that has to be addressed. Unfortunately, Gadfly just had a letter published last week and will fall under the MC once-a-month rule.

So Gadfly needs you to step up.

Remember, this is a general “neighborhood” issue — it affects us all, not just residents of the Southside. We all need to pitch in.

A good Sunday afternoon assignment: https://www.mcall.com/opinion/readers-react/mc-letter-to-the-editor-ngux-htmlstory.html

The sections in italics below were edited out of Stephen’s recent letter that we published yesterday.

It appears that the 40% higher rental profit margin in student housing possible in Bethlehem is not missed by big business.  Seventy one student houses in Bethlehem are owned by Campus Hill Enterprises whose home office is located in Hong Kong.  Another non-resident company owning a large number of student houses as indicted by the number of signs reflecting its name is Fifth Street Properties.  It is also rumored that pressure is being placed upon single families still owning their property to sell their homes to accommodate more student housing conversions

Bethlehem has commissioned a number of studies, such as the Sasaki Report, to determine best city designs.   The consensus of most studies was that the single family was the key ingredient for stability.  Why was the Southside overlooked?

Might Bethlehem’s planning officer consider amending the family definition to reflect the wisdom of other college community planners?  Also, might this potential revision possibly help allay the suspicions of many citizens that the interests of non-resident landlords and developers are higher than those of the community?  An opinion often expressed by concerned citizens at council meetings.

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