Bethlehem Planning Board OKs garage at Maple Manor

Normally a two-car garage doesn't require you to appear before Bethlehem's seven-member Planning Board and hold a public meeting on the matter unless of course you're non-conforming."

A small group of residents and neighbors of the Maple Manor Apartments in Delmar went to Town Hall for the Tuesday, Aug. 4, Planning Board meeting at which board members unanimously approved Charles Crisafulli's site plan and special-use permit for his garage.

Having been built in 1968 as one of the town's first modern apartment complexes, the structure is deemed a non-conforming use by the town's code.

The area is residentially zoned and primarily contains single-family homes, according to Bethlehem's Director of Economic Development and Planning Michael Morelli.

"The reason why they had to come to the planning board is because it's a non-conforming issue," he said. "The planning division decided that because the garage was going to be attached to the main structure and would be an expansion of non-conforming use, the applicant should come before the board and a get a special-use permit and a site plan review."

Crisafulli plans to construct a two-car garage on the west end of the property located at 101 Cherry Ave., which contains two 20-unit buildings.

During the required public hearing, some tenants and a neighbor asked about the setback of the proposed structure and what impact it would have on the parking lot. The actual garage will remove three parking spots, according to Morelli, but since it will contain two parking spaces, only one space overall will be lost.

When asked how long the garage will take to construct, Crisafulli responded, "I can build a one-car garage in a weekend. In two or three weeks the garage should be up."

Steven Lacy, who lives next door at 111 Cherry Ave., asked to have a copy of the plans submitted by Crisafulli.

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