Bethlehem planning board OKs expanded lot

Following several meetings on the topic dating back to last year, the Bethlehem Planning Board has given site-plan approval for Hadi and Havzi Ipek's parking lot expansion along 333 and 335 Delaware Ave.

The plan to move the property line behind 335 Delaware Ave. and expand the lot from 37 parking spaces to 88 was unanimously approved by the board during its Tuesday, Feb. 19, meeting.

The property contains a restaurant and additional commercial space, as well as a three-family dwelling.

Planning Board Chairman Parker Mathusa said the applicants wanted to upgrade the site for their commercial tenants.

They're looking to make it look a bit more professional than it was before, he said.

According to the proposal, the parking in front of 335 Delaware Ave., a residential structure, will be moved around to the rear of the property, and its lot, along with the existing parking lot, will be repaved and landscaping added.

As a result of a grade change along an existing lot, a retaining wall will be installed and two brick piers with lights will be placed at the entrance of the property. Between the sidewalk and the building will be brick paving and planters.

Following the board's previous recommendations, the Ipeks' proposal included doubling the landscaping within the buffer and building curbs for the islands.

New sidewalks along Delaware Avenue will be continued to the property line, according to the plans.

Other updates to the Ipeks' proposal accepted by the planning board include additional lights, red sugar maple trees, juniper bushes and a white vinyl fence. The applicants said they would be applying for their required permits from the Albany County Department of Transportation, but they expected no problems.

Mathusa said he appreciated the Ipeks' plan, saying at the meeting, "You're making a contribution by upgrading Delaware Avenue."

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