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Parking Spot Regulations Still an Issue at Grip N Flip Gym, Bethlehem

By Olivia Albright, Assignment Editor / Web Producer, OAlbright@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 28 2013 11:14:01 PM CDT
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

The Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board decided to continue working with the tenants and property owner of 2224 Industrial Drive to solve their parking space issue. The tenants include various business owners like Zumrut Granite & Marble, Calvary Chapel Living Water and Revolution Church.

It was the owner of Grip N Flip gym, Khaled Elgharby, who had filed the appeal with the Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board. Elgharby’s appeal was for relief of parking requirements to establish a commercial business in the building, according to the Zoning Board agenda.

The entire property lacks sufficient parking spaces for the kind of traffic it receives, according to Suzanne Borzek, the City of Bethlehem zoning officer.

Elgharby had to file the appeal heard at Wednesday’s zoning board meeting because a zoning inspector put a Stop Work Order on Grip N Flip about two weeks ago. Elgharby had opened Grip N Flip without approval of the Bethlehem Zoning Office.

“Elgharby applied in February and received a denial letter within a week or two. He then proceeded to open and have classes. Two weeks ago our inspector placed a Stop Work Order there because they opened,” Borzek said.

After much deliberation, the board voted to allow Elgharby, Kun Lam, the building owner and Terry DeGroot, the building engineer, to continue to work with Borzek to determine the appropriate amount of parking spots needed at 2224 Industrial Drive.

Lusitania Bakery was granted approval to remove two internally illuminated signs totaling 37.5 square feet and erect two wall signs equal 115 square feet. Bethlehem ordinance allows only 50 square feet of signage on a business property, but the board decided to allow an exception after hearing the explanations of Manny Martins, the general manager of the bakery.

The board approved a request to build a shed three feet, rather than five feet, back from an alley at 713 Elm Street. They also agreed to allow the extension of parking spots at 816 Meade Street at a percentage of impervious coverage slightly above the recommended for steep slopes.

The appeal case for 1501 Gary Street has been pushed back until next month’s Zoning Hearing Board meeting.