Allentown Community Music School’s existence threatened by apartment offer, executive says | Lehigh Valley Regional News
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Building seniors’ apartments in Allentown generally seems like a good idea, but not when it endangers a city institution, the principal of a music school said Tuesday.
from Allentown Community music school at 1544 W. Hamilton St. would face an ‘existential threat’ if 49 55-plus apartments were built next door, executive director Jeff Roseau tell the city planning committee tuesday.
The school was already squeezed out of a downtown location due to development, Reed said, and the proposed development for 1528 W. Hamilton St., filling the gap between the school (CMS) and South Fulton Street , could do the same. The problem is parking, a recurring problem in the Lehigh Valley.
“The proposed site plan is of great concern,” Reed told the planning commission. Developer HDC MidAtlantic received low-income housing tax credits to set up “affordable” housing on the site for people aged 55 and over, with a preference for adults with disabilities. The four-story building would share parking with CMS, which leases space next door.
The school needs to stay close to downtown Allentown, Reed said, to serve low-income students, and it needs parking for students, their families, and CMS faculty and staff. . He said the faculty was also made up of older people, some in their 80s, and they needed parking near the building.
HDC’s case was presented by attorney Erich Schock, who said the parking issue should go to the city’s zoning hearing board, not the planning commission. He said the total number of spaces after the construction of the 49 apartments would be 101.
While no one spoke out against having more apartments for the elderly, some residents said the location was unsuitable.
“There are a lot of shoehorns,” said Robert Wittman, who lives near the site.
“I wish CMS would stay there,” Brandon Wunder said. Attorney Jason Ulrich was also present to represent the school’s point of view.
The planning commission took no action on Tuesday. Chairman Christian Brown said the zoning board would consider the proposal.
“I think there are solutions here” to both architectural issues and site planning, Brown said. Commission members had questioned the flat roof of the proposed building as not being in the character of the neighborhood.
The commission also examined the plans for two JG Petrucci Co. proposals for buildings near the American Parkway. The company first showed off a first look at a 140,000 square foot warehouse at 1024 N. Bradford St.
Engineer Martin Smith, speaking on behalf of Petrucci, said no tenants had yet been chosen and said “there could potentially be two users” of the building. The building would be about 40 feet tall, Smith said.
Petrucci’s other proposal is for three self-storage buildings at 1051 American Parkway NE: a three-story building covering 21,125 square feet and two single-story buildings, one 12,000 square feet and the other 8,280 square feet. This site covers approximately 8 acres.
Petrucci’s presentations were both “sketch plans”, which are preliminary drafts presented to the commission for comment. No votes were taken either, but feedback on the plans was positive.
The meeting began with the recognition of dick knob, who served on the commission for three decades. It started in 1992 and finished this year. Connor Corpora gave Button a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Matt Tuerk. Button has held numerous positions and has served on the boards of directors of the Allentown School District Foundation, Mayfair Festival Inc., and is a past vice-president of the Girls Scout – Great Valley Council.