Martin Tower proposal significantly interrogated at Council

Latest in a series of posts on Martin Tower

ref: The Martin Tower site — almost two years later
ref: Martin Tower addendum
ref: Martin Tower developers request parking limitation exception at Planning this afternoon
ref: The tweaking of the Martin Tower site plan begins
ref: Martin Tower site: “we want it done the right way”

for City Council April 20:
00 PH02 2021-02-15 Martin Tower Text Amendment Petition – Final.pdf
00 PH2 06c Planning Commission Martin Tower Zoning Text Amendment
00 PH2 06d LVPC Martin Tower OMU Design Standards

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Scott Slingerland Letter on Martin Tower Redevelopment Project
April 14, 2021

Many of you are Martin Tower site watchers.

None perhaps more carefully than Scott Slingerland. See his letter to the City and the Planning Commission linked above.

A new round of Martin Tower activity began at the March Planning Commission meeting. To Gadfly’s understanding, as reported earlier, what was discussed and approved there in regard to parking and which was considered at City Council last night (see the documents above) was not of substantial consequence.

But Gadfly was substantially wrong.

Council spent a lot of time — I mean, a lot of time, like 2 hours — in discussion with the developer about the proposal on the table about parking and several other issues.

Gadfly followers concerned about the controversial development of the site can take heart at the scrutiny that Council members gave to the proposal and their general concern beyond it to making sure they knew what was going on and that certain priorities were being addressed.

Gadfly will return and break last night’s discussion down, but, in the meantime, followers can listen to the discussion here beginning at min. 9:50.

But, as also reported earlier, Scott Slingerland raised some issues of greater import than parking at that March Planning Commission meeting captured in a letter he had sent to the Commission. The Commission told him basically “to hold his water” for consideration of issues at later meetings. And to revise his letter. And to keep it in front of the Commission for discussion at later meetings.

Scott revised that first letter in one dated April 14 and that is linked above.

Last night Councilwoman Van Wirt noted the high quality of Scott’s letter.

Scott speaks interestingly of the possible development of a spur trail “ending just shy of Airport Road,” which “in 20 or 50 years when we look back on this project, could be seen as kickstarting a crucial branch of east-west multi-use rail trail that will have connected so many west and north Bethlehem neighborhoods with these businesses, downtown, and Bethlehem’s Memorial and Illick’s Mill Parks.”

He also speaks about the amount of asphalt, the need to clarify the green spaces, stormwater management, and the Monocacy Way Trail Crossing at Schoenersville Rd.

Scott’s letter is a treat in tone as well as substance. Take a look.

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