Catasauqua Press

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Second Street property plan still in the works

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by JAMES BUNTING Special to The Press in Local News

North Catasauqua council gives owner deadlines to remedy sinkhole, structural issues

North Catasauqua Borough Council and the owner of the blighted homes at 1020 and 1022 Second St. are continuing to work on a resolution that will save the blighted property from demolition.

At the March 5 council meeting, Hyoungjoon Park and his attorney presented their plan of action for resolving the homes’ structural issues. Park has contracted CJ Construction-Lehigh Valley LLC to dig underneath the property and repour the foundation.

Council provided conditional approval of Park’s plan with a 4-1 vote. Council Vice President John Yanek voted against accepting the measure, and Councilmen Joseph T. Keglovits and Billy Duch were absent.

As part of his agreement made with the borough at the Feb. 20 meeting, Park was responsible for making two $5,000 deposits at the end of February, which he completed.

Pending the ability to secure all necessary construction permits in a timely manner, Park has agreed to address all structural issues at the property by March 22. The sinkhole must be filled by April 2, and the property must be brought up to code by Aug. 1.

Council President Peter Paone and Solicitor Steve Goudsouzian stressed the importance of the borough’s building inspector, Keycodes, in the permit-approval process and moving forward with construction.

“While this is the plan of action provided currently, if the building inspector requires something modified in this approach to ensure that the building is structurally sound, I hope you understand that you may have to modify this slightly,” Paone said. “The borough will accept this, as long as it’s approved by the building inspector and is in accordance with what Keycodes requires and will deem structurally sound.”

After the prior week’s nor’easter and another winter storm in the forecast, council expressed concerns with the property’s ability to withstand back-to-back storms. During an assessment of the property at the end of January, Lock Ridge Engineering recommended razing the property within 45 days.

“I don’t want you to walk out of here, and I don’t want anyone else, to think that this is borough sanctioned, meaning this is borough approved,” Goudsouzian told Park. “This is your plan, and if you spend the money and it doesn’t work, then the borough is right back to knocking it down or doing something else.”