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Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council
October 1, 2014
Attendees: Present were Council members Jack Gambino, Lynn Rothman, Mike Topping and George Yasko. Kalyna Procyk was also in attendance.
Approval of September Minutes: Moved by Lynn; seconded by Jack; approved.
Announcements: George will distribute an EAC member City Council meeting attendance schedule for the coming year, but in the meantime he has November and March, Jack has December and Lynn will tentatively cover January and February. George reported on a Delaware River Watershed initiative concerning the New Jersey Highlands, which will be held on October 9, a LV Envision Energy Forum held at Steel Stacks concerning bus transportation, a LV land recycling proposal and a Pipeline meeting held on September 29. Also, a resident had asked about the proper care and planting of a drainage area, which runs for a block or two behind homes facing Johnston Drive. This area used to be mowed and now contains high grasses. This has become more common as the use of riparian buffers with meadow grasses and native plants have become accepted in such areas to help control storm water runoff. George will contact the person and find out where on Johnston Drive this is taking place and possibly be able to explain the reasons for the change in maintenance. Mike reminded everyone that the documentaries “Damnation” and “Trout Fishing on the Lehigh” will be shown at the Se-Wy-Co Fire House on October 15 and everyone is invited to attend.
Sub Committee Reports:
Energy: See Solar Ordinance.
Green: No Report. George described many of the activities in which the committee has been involved, but noted that most of their work is done for this year.
Transportation: No Report.
External Committee Reports:
Zoning: No report.
Planning: No report.
City Council: No report.
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission: Mike reported that a report is being developed which will show the economic value of the various outdoor activities here in the Lehigh Valley including: hunting, fishing, bird watching, camping, biking, jogging, boating, etc. which draw people to the area and promote the sale of merchandise, food and hotel/motel space. This will help demonstrate how the enhancement of open space areas and opportunities such as greenway connections between municipalities and protection of our forests, rivers and creeks have an economic as well as a healthy lifestyle value to the people living in the area.
LEED Ordinance Survey: George had nothing new to report.
Solar Ordinance: Jack and George reviewed the changes proposed by the Administration to the ordinance prepared by the EAC. Some had to do with editing the changes so that they matched the existing zoning ordinance format. The existing solar references are removed from Section 1318.27 and all solar regulations are placed under a new Section 1318.29 of the ordinance. The only major change removed the protection for direct access to the sun once a solar installation has been completed. Under the Administration’s proposal, an existing solar installation could be affected in the future by a neighbor’s construction of a structure or tree planting and the only recourse would be to take the matter to court. The EAC agreed that this part of the ordinance should be reviewed by City Council and the Administration.
New Business: Kalyna indicated her interest in becoming a member of the EAC and asked about the various committees, which exist as well as those, which could be added to the EAC.
Next Meeting: The next meeting is scheduled for November 3, 2014.
Adjourn: The meeting adjourned at approximately 7:45 PM.