New approach to Beltzville issues
A no-parking ordinance that prohibits vehicles from parking on several roads near Beltzville State Park is expected to be adopted next month.
Franklin Township supervisors unanimously agreed on Tuesday to advertise for adoption a no-parking ordinance regarding Fresh Meadow Drive, Green Street, and Pohopoco Drive.
The board plans to adopt the ordinance when it meets at 6:30 p.m. July 20.
Last month, several residents expressed concerns over illegal parking and litter issues at Beltzville State Park
Beltzville announced new measures following a meeting last month with local and state officials and police.
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn took part, as well as the park’s new manager, Ben Monk.
The new rules are aimed at eliminating parking in areas that are unsafe, and parking areas outside the main gates of the park which have been damaged due to overuse.
The biggest changes are limits on parking.
Between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, weekend parking will be prohibited at the Wild Creek, Christman Trail, Evergreen and Cove Parking areas.
Parking on the soccer fields inside the main gates is now prohibited.
Once the gated day use area reaches capacity, DCNR will close Pohopoco Drive between Pine Run Road and Green Street. Visitors won’t be allowed to walk into the day use area once it is full.
Any buses parking at Beltzville will need prior written permission from the park manager.
More portable toilets, dumpsters and signs with park rules are beginning to be added.
Residents have been trying to take back the lake in recent years.
In April, Towamensing Township residents voiced concerns following a year of record attendance.
On multiple weekends last summer, parking areas reached capacity, which was capped at 75 percent due to the pandemic.
The lake attracts people from in and out of the county, along with some out-of-state travelers.
On Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article with places to swim in the Poconos. Beltzville topped the list.
Another article on the site www.onlyinyourstate.com, said, “A secret tropical beach in Pennsylvania, the water at Beltzville State Park is a mesmerizing blue.”
In July, state Rep. Doyle Heffley called for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to limit Beltzville’s day-use areas to Pennsylvania residents only, citing concerns about potential spikes in COVID-19 cases.
DCNR manages the 2,972-acre park in Towamensing and Franklin townships, including the 949-acre lake on behalf of its owner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Army Corps built the dam and lake for flood control along the Lehigh and Delaware rivers.