Noise ordinance, Wemple Corners and Babe Ruth discussed

Bethlehem Town Board tackles plenty of items at biweekly meeting

The Bethlehem Town Board tackled a number of issues at its Wednesday, July 13, meeting.

More info needed on Wemple Corners rezone

A developer's request to rezone land in Glenmont to pave the way for Wemple Corners, a huge new urbanism-type commercial and housing project, is moving ahead, albeit slowly.

Milltowne Plaza Inc. is hoping the town will rezone a 95-acre parcel of land at the intersection of Wemple Road and Route 9W from mixed economic development to "commercial hamlet." That request was forwarded to the town's Planning Board for a review in April, but that body decided it didn't have enough information.

That created a sort of Catch-22 scenario, said Town Planner Jeffrey Lipnicky, as the Planning Board is required to return a recommendation within 45 days. That's a requirement included in a 2006 revision to the zoning code.

"Since then, we've never had a conventional zoning request of this scale," Lipnicky said.

So the Town Board on Wednesday voted to put the brakes on the rezoning request to conduct a state environmental impact review, which would have been required of the Wemple Corners project anyway. That should provide a lot more information for the town to review when it comes to the rezoning request.

Milltowne is hoping to build over 500 units of senior apartments, conventional apartments, mixed-use apartments above businesses, townhomes, condominiums and over 140,000 square feet of commercial and office space.

It's the senior housing that is really necessitating the change to a commercial hamlet zone, according to the developer.

Babe Ruth shed gets green light ... after the fact

It turns out a local private baseball league jumped the gun on construction of a large shed at the town's Elm Avenue Park.

Bethlehem Babe Ruth has been in discussions with the town since the spring to construct a 16-by-32-foot shed for storing equipment and operating two pitching machines out of. The league even obtained a building permit for the structure, but not any approval from the town to build on Bethlehem land. Still, work began recently.

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