Catasauqua Press

Friday, December 6, 2019

Request for path added to rezoning ordinance

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

District superintendent seeks change for land across from Sheckler

Catasauqua Area School District Superintendent Robert Spengler addressed Catasauqua Borough Council at its workshop meeting Jan. 28.

Spengler and Councilwoman Christine Weaver have had discussions about the 14-acre parcel across from Sheckler Elementary School. Council is putting together an ordinance to change the zoning on the land to allow for compact town- homes, or attached dwellings. The present zoning requires homes to be on one-acre lots.

Spengler wants to add a new element to the development. He suggested the rezoning ordinance require a developer to provide a trail along the back edge of the property. Spengler pointed out that any trail would require a right-of-way easement from the airport but added he did not expect it would be a major hurdle.

Weaver is interested in the idea because the trail can connect to other proposed trails that Catasauqua and North Catasauqua boroughs have planned. North Catasauqua is having a meeting 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Charotin Room of the North Catasauqua Borough Municipal Building, 1066 Fourth St., to discuss the proposals.

“This trail would give residents a path to walk or bicycle to the high school,” Weaver said.

The trail will also make for a scenic walk that can contribute to the quality of life in the borough.

Council agreed to include Spengler’s request into the zoning-change ordinance.

Councilwoman Jessica Kroope, along with Cameron Smith, commented on the demise of the old merry-go-round in the park. The old one was removed because the bearings went bad. Smith offered to fix it, but that idea was nixed by council based on concerns about liability. There is a new merry-go-round in the park, and, according to Kroope, kids like the new one better.

Borough Manager Stephen Travers reported the borough is going to have all streetlights converted to LEDs. The process is at minimal cost to the borough. Travers pointed out switching to LED lights has less cost savings than anticipated.

Council assigned the task of reworking the borough’s rental licensing to the planning and zoning committee. Council is unhappy with the accuracy of the records under the existing system.

Weaver announced the borough is looking for more funds from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The borough received $1.5 million in grants for the Iron Works project but is seeking more funding. The existing grant will be used for infrastructure improvements.

Councilman Brian Bartholomew wants a contact at FedEx to report traffic through the borough.

“There was a FedEx semi that went down Front Street. There is no reason why a semi would go down Front Street. I saw a trucker stuck on Bullshead Road near the high school. He wanted to turn right, but there is a 20-ton restriction on the bridge. He can only get there if he goes through town,” he said.