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Subdivision plan for Dollar Store approved

Published April 23. 2010 05:00PM

A subdivision plan for a Family Dollar Store in Palmerton has received approval.

Borough council on a 5-0 vote Thursday approved the Joseph Bennett subdivision plan, pending the receipt of a highway occupancy permit for the store. Councilmen Randolph Gursky and Jason Behler were absent.

In addition, council agreed to rescind the previous prints of the plan that council approved on Feb. 25; granted conditional approval on the March 29 set of prints and the reapproval of the waivers on the Feb. 25 plans; approved a waiver from the borough ordinance that security will be required for all improvements in the public right-of-way; and requested security of about $30,000 for the improvements in the public right-of-way.

Last month, the borough's Zoning Hearing Board unanimously granted Bennett a variance related to the maximum size and overall height for a sign in the front of the store at 545 Delaware Avenue.

After a brief recess, the zoners gave Bennett permission to erect a freestanding sign that is 70.9-square-feet in size with an overall height of 25 feet for the store, which is located in a commercial downtown zoning district.

Bennett's request for the sign was previously rejected by borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker because a section of the zoning ordinance limits the size of freestanding signs to 30-square-feet, and limits the height to 15 feet.

Prior to the zoners' ruling, Bennett withdrew a request for a second sign he initially proposed that was 101.50 square feet. The zoning ordinance allows a maximum size of 84 square feet for single-faced signs based on proposed building frontage.

However, Bennett said he plans to put a sign up on the front of the building that will comply with the zoning ordinance. There will also be a sign on the right side of the building towards the parking lot.

Bennett told zoners the Family Dollar store will be situated on the left side of the property, known to many as the former Lefty Haydt gas station, while the right side will be able to accommodate 26 parking spaces. He said the retail store will employ between 25-30 people.

Bennett previously owned the Bennett Palmerton Dealership at 555 Delaware Ave. He has since purchased the George Hahn Dealership in Lehighton. For over the past year and going forward all service and parts operations will be conducted at 619 Iron Street, Lehighton.

Upon completion of his new showroom on Route 443 across from the Mahoning Inn and Boulevard Drive Inn, Bennett will be the dealer for Jeep and Chrysler for all of Carbon County.

Bennett said the back end of the former Bennett Palmerton Dealership has been converted into a Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit facility for autistic children.

He said plans are in the process for a third tenant for the front of the former Palmerton dealership building, but declined to provide any further details.

Also on Thursday, council granted conditional preliminary plan approval to the Fairview subdivision plan. As part of their approval, council granted eight waiver requests.

The plan will subdivide 20 lots into two phases; phase one would be from Princeton Avenue to Alley K, while phase two will be from Alley K up to Edgemont Avenue.

In other business, council:

• Approved a request from the Palmerton American Legion to hold its annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31. The parade will form at Second and Delaware Ave. between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. At 10 a.m., the parade will proceed down Delaware to Fifth Street, and will continue to Franklin Avenue to the borough park. Memorial services will be held in the borough park.

• Approved a veterans' memorial designation to have a memorial placed around the flagpole in the borough park.

• Approved an ordinance that amends sections of the seasonal parking restrictions.

• Agreed to hire Jeff Beers to the borough public works department at a rate of $8 an hour, effective May 3.

• Named patrolman Michael Fedor as officer in charge of the police department from April 17-24.

• Adopted a resolution to observe the week of May 9-16 as Police Week, and, in particular, to observe Saturday, May 15, as Peace Officers Memorial Day.

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