Gadfly #1 seeks cure for insomnia

Festival UnBound
Ten days of original theatre, dance, music, art and conversation designed to celebrate and imagine our future together!
October 4-13

(Latest in a series of posts about the Southside)

Imagine Gadfly #00 moderating a local Jeopardy show.

The contestants are the Mayor, the Director of Community and Economic Development, and Gadfly #1.

Under the category “Bethlehem Zoning Code,” the answer is five unrelated people.

Gadfly #1 pounces on the buzzer first, as he has been doing for decades.

“The question is, what is the definition of a family.”

Thus, the root cause, according to Gadfly #1, of the developer lust for student housing on the Southside surrounding Lehigh University.

Followers know that according to Gadfly #1’s research, Bethlehem is the only college town in the state with such a definition — others have the less aphrodisiac number of 3, 2, or 1 student permitted.

And he keeps asking, why us? Why this number here?

And keeps getting no answer.

(A follower passed on the information that Bloomsburg defined a family as 4, and the courts upheld it against developer suits.)

Here is “ailing” Gadfly #1 appealing to the emotions of the power structure once again at the September 17 Council meeting.

Now the Mayor answered the South Bethlehem Historical Society letter about conditions on the Southside.

But poor sleepless Gadfly #1 keeps getting ignored.


Now maybe Gadfly #1’s question is too complex, controversial, and cantankerous to answer (Ha! adjectives some might say that apply to Gadfly #1 himself too!) — too hard.

So maybe yours truly Gadfly #00 might suggest something easier to at least help make those “neighborhoods” around Lehigh feel more like neighborhoods and to help assuage (good SAT word) el primo Gadfly’s insomnia.

Like taking the rental and rental company signs off the homefronts and windows.

The signs cluster on homes like lanternflies on trees. See the videos in Gadfly’s infamous Tour de Rentz: from Hillside to First Terrace back in July.

Perhaps video 3 as a good example:

Surely in this modern world there’s an online resource that efficiently directs prospective student renters to rental agencies and rental addresses — rendering these old-style signs — these badges of a kind of urban colonialism — well, old-style and unnecessary.

Surely, there must be a City ordinance against this kind of mercantile trashing of block after block after block after block on the Southside around Lehigh.

Very tacky, like streetwalkers parading their wares.

Perhaps an ordinance like zoning 1320.08 (a) (4): Signs advertising the sale, lease or rental of property, provided that the area of any such sign shall not exceed 6 square feet and not more than one such sign shall be placed on property held in single and separate ownership unless such property fronts on more than one street, in which case, one such sign may be erected on each street frontage. All signs shall be removed within 7 days after an agreement of sale or rental has been entered into. In addition to the foregoing, one open house sign shall be permitted subject to the conditions listed under 1320.08(b)(3). Two off premises signs shall also be permitted as stated in 1320.08(b)(3).

One could look at the Northside too, 12 E. Market, for instance. That yellow is very pretty.


Let’s get rid of these signs. And maybe plant some trees on Hillside and elsewhere on the Southside avenues while we’re at it.

At least give Gadfly #1 some satisfaction!

Festival UnBound

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