Neighbors are speaking out about a request to rezone a nearly seven-acre property at 1527 Easton Road in Hellertown, which borough council will hear at a public hearing during their meeting this Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.
The parcel owned by Michael and Sarah Chaffier of Hellertown has two large single-family homes on it and straddles the Hellertown borough-Lower Saucon Township municipal line, according to public Northampton County property assessment records.
In spite of being partly developed, it is likely one of the largest privately-owned pieces of land with the potential for additional housing to be built on it under in the borough.
According to a notice posted on the property by borough zoning officer Kris Russo, the Chaffiers have requested that their property be rezoned from R1 to R2. Both zoning categories are for residential development, but the R2 would allow for higher-density housing to be built on it.
Currently, the R2 zoning district does not extend east of Easton Road.
According to the borough’s zoning ordinance, in the R-1 zoning single-family detached dwellings are the only type of residence permitted by right. In the R-2 zoning district, however, various types of residential units are allowed.
“The purpose of this district is to provide areas where a variety of housing needs can be met through a choice of housing types while simultaneously preserving the integrity of the existing residential environment,” the Hellertown borough zoning ordinance states.
Among the types of housing permitted in the R2 zoning district are single-family detached dwellings, single-family semidetached dwellings (duplexes), single family attached dwellings (townhouses) and multifamily dwellings.
“Any of these would certainly impact current character and look of the area, increase traffic and decrease home values,” said neighbor Jimmy O’Brien Saturday in a post about the public hearing on the borough’s Facebook page.
That post was shared Sunday to the Hellertown, Pennsylvania Facebook group, where members who are also neighbors are commenting on it.
Tuesday’s borough council meeting and the public hearing are open to the public, and interested parties are invited to attend.
Meetings are held on the second floor of Hellertown Borough Hall, 685 Main Street.