Town sets hearing on zoning change

The Bethlehem Town Board has accepted the Planning Board's recommendation to rezone Corning Hill Road and has set a public hearing on the matter for Wednesday, Jan. 14.

A group of residents has requested to change the zoning for 99 through 111 Corning Hill Road off of Route 9W.

The Bethlehem Planning Board recommended making the change at its Wednesday, Dec. 3, meeting, after hearing the requested zoning change on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The board's vote was also unanimous.

The request calls for 6.1 acres of land on Corning Hill to be changed from residential A to commercial hamlet.

Michael Morelli, assistant director of economic development and planning, said the new zone could be used a transition zone from a residential area to the business district along Route 9W.

"There's five properties on top of Corning Hill Road adjacent to the Cumberland Farms that are requesting a rezone," Morelli said. "There are a lot of zones over there and it would be a nice transitional zone."

Some of the zones in the area include residential, rural, rural light industrial, and general commercial, he said. He added that the entire 6 acres couldn't be developed because the backs of the properties have steep slopes down to the Normanskill.

The four property owners of the five parcels being considered for a rezone are all in favor of the becoming a commercial hamlet for various reasons.

"It would allow the existing residents to continue living there but also create small businesses if they wanted to," Morelli said of the new zoning consideration.

Planning Board member Katherine McCarthy said the rezone seems reasonable but that the public's input will be weighed before any possible action.

"It seems like a good plan, but it's key to have those public hearings," McCarthy said. "I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about the possible rezone."

After the Town Board holds the public hearing in January, any plan to develop the land or to create a new business would have to go back before the planning board. The Jan. 14 public hearing at Town Hall will begin at 6 p.m. ""

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