I have strong opinions, that’s never been in question, but while I often respond to things that occur, I don’t always have anything looming that I need to express my concerns over to prevent it from happening.
It’s been brought to my attention that a real estate developer wants to open a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center at 111 Dewberry Ave in Bethlehem. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the area, I can tell you that it’s right in the heart of residential North Bethlehem and is right next door to Bethlehem Catholic High School. Let me say that again. Someone wants to put a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center right next door to a school.
I don’t oppose the idea of addicts getting the help that they need, whether it’s of their own volition or by court order, but I do have a problem when it’s next to a school. The proposed center is also within a mile of Spring Garden Elementary School and is also too close to my own house for comfort.
A concerned citizen has put together a website, northbethaction.org, that does a good job explaining the issues associated with establishing such a facility in the location being proposed. I can’t say that I support everything on the website, but I do agree that the drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility does not belong on Dewberry Ave. I signed the petition but we all know how much weight those hold, so I’ll be attending the Zoning Hearing Board meeting on Wednesday, February 22 at 6 pm to show support to those that oppose the proposed facility.
Because I’m not one to complain without suggesting a solution, if the community needs another drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility (which is debatable) why not locate it at a hospital instead of right next door to a school? Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s are both nearby and are much more appropriate for someone seeking medical treatment.
If you have an opinion on the matter, I welcome your comments and if you want to really make your voice heard, join me at the Zoning Hearing Board meeting on Wednesday at 6 pm at Bethlehem City Hall.