- Tracy SamuelsonZoning Officer
- J. William ReynoldsCouncilman
- Michael D. RecchiutiCouncilman
- Robert J. DonchezCouncilman
- Karen D. DolanCouncilwoman
- David T. DiGiacintoCouncilman
- Jean BelinskiCouncilwoman
- John CallahanMayor
- Joe KellyDirector, Community & Economic Development
- Eric EvansCouncilman
City Hall: Reject a Drug and Alcohol Rehab facility at 111 Dewberry
During the next few weeks, the Zoning Hearing Board will be deciding on Abe Atiyeh’s proposed development of the former Calvary Baptist Church at 111 Dewberry Avenue into a 70 bed residential drug and alcohol treatment facility. Although Bethlehem Catholic High School, City Council and the Mayor have expressed opposition to this proposal, Atiyeh continues to promote it. Most neighbors oppose it.
This petition, together with our website www.northbethaction.org , summarizes why we oppose this development. It seeks to encourage all parties involved to reject this proposal decisively and firmly. Now is the time to be heard.
- Zoning Officer
J. William Reynolds
Michael D. Recchiuti
Robert J. Donchez
Karen D. Dolan
David T. DiGiacinto
- Director, Community & Economic Development
I just signed the following petition addressed to: City Hall.
I am writing to express my opposition to Abe Atiyeh’s proposed development of the former Calvary Baptist Church into a Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment facility at 111 Dewberry Avenue. I request you protect the future of our neighborhood by stepping up your opposition to this development. After over 23 hours of Zoning Hearing Board meetings, the time to act is now.
There are several reasons to oppose this development.
1. This 70 bed rehab facility, located adjacent to Bethlehem Catholic High School (“Becahi”), will negatively impact the long term viability of this important, private high school.
a.) I believe that the public association of drug addiction with violence and crime will negatively influence the decision of families to spend tuition money for their children’s education at Becahi.
b.) I believe locating the rehab facility next to Becahi will deter students from walking to school, from using Becahi’s playing fields, and from participating in cultural and extra-curricular activities; it will increase the risks to their safety.
2. It will bring in 800-1000 addicts annually and the traffic associated with visitors/vendors.
3. Other community institutions and resources will be negatively impacted: First Presbyterian Church with its preschool/extended care program, Kirkland Village, and the Hemple (community) Park. Over time I expect declining usage and support.
4. Once the facility is approved, it will not go away. It will only attract more drug and alcohol related activities, such as the 125 bed drug, alcohol and psychiatric facility Atiyeh is proposing across the street and/or out-patient facilities.
5. The testimony and experience of the proposed operator, Malvern Institute, must be discounted by the fact that there is no guarantee that they will be its sole operator.
6. A residential drug and alcoholic rehab facility will threaten my perceived safety, morals and general welfare. It will irreversibly impact the character of my community. It will affect the value of my home.
Enough is enough. This application has dominated the Zoning Hearing Board for months. It has cost the City considerable time and money. It is time to move on.
Many of my neighbors lament society’s anguish and cost caused by illegal drug and excessive alcohol usage; they support treatment facilities and programs. What I don’t support is the location of this proposed treatment facility next to a major high school in my stable, middle class, residential neighborhood. To the extent you have opposed this proposed rehab facility, thank you; please step up your efforts now. Briefs are due February 15th and the last Zoning Hearing Board meeting is February 22nd.
To others, I ask that you oppose this project now.
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