A plan to construct a retail store in Palmerton has cleared a major hurdle.

Borough council unanimously agreed on Thursday to grant final approval to the Joseph Bennett retail store subdivision with two conditions.

Bennett must obtain a highway occupancy permit from the state Department of Transportation, and he must sign a developer's agreement and post escorow in the amount of $179,454 for public improvements.

Prior to the vote, council unanimously agreed to grant a waiver request to the subdivision.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson said borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker believes the waiver request is acceptable.

"It meets the zoning ordinance," Danielson said. "But, it doesn't meet the subdivision parking area variance."

Councilman Richard Nothstein said he was concerned with how the plan would effect on-street parking along the area.

"My concern is that whatever on-street parking is available for the community will be taken up by one individual's plan," Nothstein said.

Danielson noted the plan calls for 26 on-lot parking spaces.

Regardless, Nothstein questioned whether there was any chance for more parking to be added.

"I'm not opposed to the subdivision; I'm concerned about the parking," Nothstein said. "Once it's built, there's not way to retreat."

A local car dealer, Bennett plans to build a Family Dollar store at 545 Delaware Avenue. He also plans to have a facility for children of the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit.

Bennett is scheduled to go before the borough's Zoning Hearing Board on Tuesday in search of permission to erect three signs on the property.

Bennett wants to erect a sign for a Family Dollar store, as well as two others, at 545 Delaware Ave., which is located in a commercial downtown zoning district.

Also on Thursday, council granted an extension to the Fairview subdivision plan until April 30.

Darrin Heckman of Lehigh Engineering, said the plan would subdivide 20 lots into two phases.

Phase one would be from Princeton Avenue to Alley K, while phase two would be from Alley K up to Edgemont Avenue.

Costenbader said he would like time to review the plan in greater detail.

Heckman then questioned whether the developer would be responsible for a 25-year storm-water contribution.

Danielson told Heckman the matter would have to be reviewed by the engineers.