Salisbury Press

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

ZONING HEARING BOARD

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN pwillistein@tnonline.com in Local News

Dividing Lehigh Parkway lot denied

A father’s plan to subdivide his Lehigh Parkway North property in order for his son to build a house next to his has been denied.

The Salisbury Township Zoning Hearing Board voted unanimously 5-0 to reject the appeal by Victor and Nabila Youssef for a variance to subdivide their lot, 1746 Greenwood Road, into two lots with Lots 1 and 2 having insufficient lot size (30,000-square-foot required; 27,355-square-foot proposed) and with Lot 2 having insufficient lot width (150 feet required; 139.49 feet proposed). The property is in the township R1 Rural Residential Zoning District.

Victor Youssef, who with his wife lives in the existing house, said his son is getting married and would like to build a house on the subdivided lot.

The Youssef property is at Greenwood and Nottingham roads in Lehigh Parkway North, an exclusive enclave of large-lot houses that can fetch $400,000 to $900,000-plus on the Lehigh Valley real estate market.

Joseph Rentko, an engineer, when questioned by Atty. Mark R. Malkames, Malkames Law, Allentown, who represented the Youssefs at the zoning hearing, said of the impact of subdividing the lot: “It definitely doesn’t appear to be changing the character of the neighborhood.”

Rentko said there are three properties in the area under 30,000-square-feet.

Unlike the Youssef house, “all the homes are centered on lots,” Rentko said.

“All necessary infrastructure is in place,” Rentko said, adding, “Stormwater can be handled on-site,” Rentko said.

More than one dozen Lehigh Parkway residents appeared to indicate they were objectors to the lot-division plan, with about 12 of those voicing objections.

Dave Santee, who lives along Greenwood Road, said that, of the 15 lots along Greenwood Road, none is under 30,000-square-feet and along Nottingham Road, eight lots are in excess of one acre.

“I think this is very detrimental to the character of the neighborhood,” Santee said of the proposal to subdivide the Youssef property.

Said John King, who lives along Nottingham Road, of the Youssef proposal, “I think it will make an essential change to the neighborhood. I’ve three boys. So maybe I’ll be back if this goes through.”

Victor Youssef, who said he has lived at his address for 15 years, said of his property,” A lot of the homes don’t have the side lot. It’s off-center.”

Concerning his proposal, Youssef said, “It’s beneficial for the school district. It would generate more taxes.”

There was approximately one-hour and 15 minutes of testimony and questions in the Youssef appeal at the Feb. 4 zoning hearing board hearing.

The Feb. 4 hearing was held in Salisbury Middle School cafeteria instead of the usual location, the Salisbury Township Municipal Building meeting room, because of the expected large turnout, with more than 100 in attendance to oppose a proposal for a new building by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania for its Mountain House Camp on South Mountain.