Friday, September 30

Why Bethlehem Township Hates Mrs Housenick and the Monocacy Creek, oh and other non watery shit.

Nerd fight!
Fluff piece first, eh? I engage in an entire spectrum of dumb nerdy shit. Oh, and don't kid yourselves, people, tying little flies out of dead animal bits then obsessively chuckin' em to fish so you can put the fish back is pretty fucking nerdy. Amongst other shit I do, I play role playing games. The real kind, with paper and dice and shit, not that lame computer based shit. My friend, he writes them, which is either more nerdy or more creative, don't give a fuck... He blogs that shit up, and has once asked me to write up a review for a minis game. I did that right here. Am I rad, or what?

However, there's more stuff afoot. Dare I say actual, important stuff for once. The Bethlehem Township commissioners evidently hate open spaces, joy, and life. They do love money, though. So, that pits Bethlehem Township directly against the Archibald Johnson Housenick Estate.

There's a little tract of land that's set aside as a nature preserve or some shit in what's now Bethlehem Township. Seems some lady named Housenick died and left huge tracts of land to the County, the Township, and her church. Seems that there's a movement afoot to take part of that land, build some shitty apartments, and wreck the lovely little patch of unspoilt land by filthing it up.

I took this over a decade ago, my first 4x5
picture that I planned and executed properly.
A representitive of the Johnson-Housenick estate made a presentation to the Monocacy Chapter of TU last night, and detailed some of the plans going forward for land use. That link has the bulk of the email sent out to try and motivate people. Maybe you should read it?

The short version is there's a nice parcel of land between Santee Mill Road, Christian Springs Road, and Nazareth Pike on the cusp between the City of Bethlehem and Bethlehem Township. A neighbouring parcel of land is trying to be developed into a 420 unit apartment complex and strip mall, which is pretty fucking pointless considering the THREE already existing half-empty strip malls in the region, plus the shitty apartment complexes less than a mile from the new one. Those might be filled for all I know, but they aren't nice, so who wants more anyways?

I'm not sure if the commission cares, though, because some of them proven themselves to be class acts while complaining about the deceased woman who willed the land, and a $2 million grant to take care of it,  mind you.

So, the Township commissioners meet Monday, 10/3, at 7pm at the Township Municipal Building, 4225 Easton Avenue, Bethlehem PA, 18020. Show up, and make your thoughts heard. Development of this parcel will result in massive additions to local traffic, Monocacy flooding, degredation of the water, loss of valuable habitat for not just fish but waterfowl, some of the last greenspace for the fuckin deer that run in front of my car and generally will destroy something special.

And there ain't much special left in Bedlam, PA. Or the Township, which has always been the forgotten part of Bethlehem, and has a chance to stand up and do something interesting, but appears to be ready to piss it all away.

So, attend the meeting if you can. If you can't, contact someone who can. The current commissioners receptive to rezoning and pissing away the future are: Mike Hudak, Art Murphy, Paul Weiss. The ones who actually appear to give a shit and thus don't suck are: Tom Nolan and Jerry Batcha.

Mr. Nolan is also the Housenick Committee Chairman, the township number is 610-814-6400. Howard Kutzler is the BT Township planner and can be reached at 610-841-6440.

So, let them know. If you live in Bethlehem Township, let them know you vote. If you don't, let them know you care, and that you'll spread the word.

The "Master Plan" from the Housenick folks is an interesting read (PDF link). As someone who used to ignore the No Trespassing signs and walk back here a long time ago, its a really special place. I'd hate to see it ruined or developed, and the creek itself doesn't need the additional development crushing this very special piece of land, and in itself is a huge boost that helps keep it healthy and supporting trout through its entire length to confluence with the Lehigh.

Updated October 3rd... "Plan to move ahead with the park, no word on the house, and we'll disband the Housenick committee." I'm pretty sure that translates to, "fuck the house, develop the shit when the heat dies down, and no one will be the wiser." I'm pretty sure this battle continues. From what I gathered, the community side of the Housenick committee is pretty fuckin' vocal, and rightfully so. Its a neat piece of land, its sad to see it pissed away.

No comments:

Post a Comment