Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Godzilla Eats Main Street

Posted by Julie Zando-Dennis

On the agenda for the City of Easton's public Planning Commission meeting is a proposal for a 9-story mixed-use building spanning multiple lots at 616-630 Northampton Street.

WOW. 9 stories is out of character for that block.

On the other hand, the proposal could be exciting ― it includes a market and cafĂ© on the first floor, and generally, I support investment in Easton -- as long as its thoughtful.

Numerous apartments (44 in all) are included in the plan. That’s a lot of density.

What are we talking about here? Upscale housing? Low income? A desirable and stablizing mixed income population? ARE EXISTING HISTORIC STRUCTURES PLANNED TO BE DEMOLISHED? Unless you attend the planning commission, you’ll never know.

Planning Commission Meeting
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 6:30 PM
City Council Chambers, 5th Floor, City Hall, 1 S. 3rd Street .
The room is handicapped accessible.


Dennis R. Lieb said...


Nice pic of Godzilla...haven't seen the old guy around for a while. Thanks for the Planning Commission plug. I am part of the development team for the grocery store so I will be mostly listening to public comments when it comes up on the agenda. I won't have to recuse myself though since there is no motion to approve or disapprove anything. This is our first visit to the Commission and it is for the sake of open discussion more than anything else. We will also be meeting seperately with Esther at WWNP on Thursday about the project.

It may become necessary at some point to do a user survey of the residents to see what they need or would like to have in a grocery store. Still figuring out how to do that.

Other agenda items for tomorrow:

Allowing a special exception use of the former General Supply property along Lehigh Drive for storage of landscaping materials and vehicles in the flood plain...I'll probably oppose it.

Conversion of the former Archive Shop building on the corner of Church and N Second into a single family residence with home office...I'm OK with it.

The new Inter-modal facility...needs additional adjustments.

Our grocery store...I'll see what people say.

New Dunkin Donuts on South Side...I hate it.


Julie Zando-Dennis said...

A grocery store is very desirable, but how 'bout those 9 stories?

Mixed use development can come and go, but historic architecture can never be replaced. Well-maintained historic architecture spurs economic development in and of itself, as tourists and residents alike are drawn to its charm.

What will be torn down for the 9 story building?

As for the rest of the agenda, why oppose a special exception for the former General Supply property along Lehigh Drive? If a small business needs it for growth, why oppose it just because it's in the flood plain?

[Business growth is to be supported, but it must be thoughtful. If the business planned to tear down historic buildings for storage of landscaping materials and vehicles, I'd be opposed. That's the difference.]

Anonymous said...

I'll have to have a look, but isn't this a partial empty lot? by the run down bar and abandoned luncheonette? or the abandoned building that stray dogs live in?
my only hope would be that adequate parking is provided. besides that, go for it! that area was much improved when Dyke's moved in, they are a great business and neighbor. now just get the dirtbags who own the potato wholesaler and the armory to do something and we'll have a block that people will be glad to walk up!

Fia said...

Here is a link to the article in the Express Times about the proposed grocery store


noel jones said...

Quick note on permitting exception for businesses in the flood plain--I am only opposed if said business involves digging a foundation into the flood plain. The flood plain serves an important purpose--to soak up flood water so that the rest of the city floods less. If the business is just storage, and doesn't involved digging a foundation/basement, then I see no harm in it.

Actually, I would love to see business that don't require foundations all along our riverfronts, i.e., little spots where one could by fishing gear and a license, by ice cream, buy a birdwatching book and binoculars, rent canoes and kayaks, mountain bikes, etc. All of that could be done without disturbing the flood plain, and it would bring commerce, people and a more vital energy to the riverfront.

If businesses like this are ok with the risk, and aren't hurting the flood plain, I'm in favor of allowing exceptions--but no digging!

noel jones said...

Ugh, my typos, ugh. Alas, I am too lazy at this hour to delete and re-type...

noel jones said...

Oh, and Julie--best blog photo ever!