Owners of the Stram Center of Integrative Medicine are now seeking site plan approval from Bethlehem’s Planning Board in order to move the facility to its new location at 90 Adams St.
The project received a use variance from the zoning board in December.
The initial presentation for the project took place on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Site plan approval is need for the holistic health facility to move from its current location at 388 Kenwood Ave.
The plans call for 4,500 square feet of the property to be used as office space. The remaining 2,300 square feet would be used as office space, or remain open for a possible expansion in the future.
The business would also need to follow the town’s sign code, which allows for one free-standing sign and one wall-mounted sign. Town staff asked that Stram’s sign be moved 10 feet back from where the former sign for the school district sits.
Town staff is proposing the removal of three parallel parking spaces that are in the town’s right-of-way, in order for sidewalk to eventually be installed along Hawthorne to connect to existing sidewalk. Two parking spaces near the front of the building would then be moved onto Adams Street. The owners are also proposing some further landscaping.
Planning Board Chairman John Smolinsky said he would like to see if something could be done to make it safer for pedestrians, since the sidewalk leads people to walk behind the parked cars.
“That condition has existed forever, but I would like staff and the applicant to see if there is some alternative,” said Smolinsky, suggesting a type of sidewalk marking. “It seems like a problem waiting to happen.”
Representatives for the Stram Center said they would be willing to look into alternatives, but their original plan was to encourage pedestrians to no longer use the sidewalk by the facility until they learn of the town’s plan to connect the sidewalks.
Board member Kate Powers asked if Stram left the property and another business wanted to move in, would they also need to go through the same process. Planning staff said the zoning board has granted approval for professional office space. Anything else would need another variance.
The property at 90 Adams had been on the market since April 2012 when the school district opted to “moth ball” the building as a cost-saving measure. School’s Out, Inc,, an after school and summer enrichment program for children, had hoped to buy the property in order to expand, but the sale was met with criticism from the building’s neighbors. Traffic and noise were both cited as main concerns.
Eventually, zoning board members ruled against granting a use variance to School’s Out, halting the sale. The school district filed a lawsuit against the town in July because of the decision, but later dropped the suit after Stram Center representatives showed interest in the building.
The project’s application was tabled for revisions and a SEQUR determination is made.
Site plan approval was granted for the development of a new CVS pharmacy along Route 9W at Bethlehem Center, which was also brought before the board.
The project was first brought before the town’s Development Planning Committee last February and then before the Planning Board in July.
The plan calls for relocating the current pharmacy within Glenmont Plaza to a larger building to be built on the corner on Route 9W and Glenmont Road. A USA gas station currently sits on the site. The station, along with several local businesses and residences, would be demolished.
The demolition would allow for the development of a 13,225 square-foot store with 65 parking spaces and a double drive-thru. The plan would also allow for a traffic circle to possibly be installed at the corner in the future under a proposal by the state Department of Transportation.
As part of the SEQUR process, CVS contributed $25,000 to fund intersection improvements to help with traffic delays at the intersection of Route 9W.
The landscaping plan was also “significantly enhanced” to include the Route 9W study. Some minor changes to the plan included lighting level not being in accordance with town code.
CVS is also looking to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a sign variance. They then would need to go back to the planning board for approval of the signs. Each of the separate lots would also need to be combined into one lot before a building permit is issued.