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Roger Mellin should ask Chrin for combat pay

It was a tough night to be a developer in Bethlehem Township. Right after Traditions of America’s David Biddison had run the gauntlet, it was Roger Mellin’s turn before the Planning Commission at their July 28 meeting. He’s the Director of Business for Charles Chrin Companies, and presented a sketch plan for the redevelopment of the old V-7 driving range and miniature golf course, next to Route 33. The driving range itself is owned by the Township, with plans on paper for soccer fields some time in the future. Chrin has proposed to develop the remaining 17-acres with an 11-screen movie theatre, four-story hotel, convenience store gas station, bank and restaurant. He also wants to relocate Hope Road while he’s at it. He’ll also need about ten variances.

“I guess my first comment will be, ‘Holy Crap!” announced Planner Les Walker. That sentiment was echoed and repeated by other planners as well as about 20 speakers opposed to the plans in a still-packed house of about 80 residents.

From there, it got worse. “Total nightmare!”, “Horrendous!”, “This is crap”, are just some of the comments expressed by a public that made clear they are tired of the increasing traffic in Township.

Pat Woods, who lives on Hope Ridge Road, was livid that Commissioner Marty Zawarski has already been quoted in a local daily as calling this a good plan. “He has no right to do that,” she declared. “He really should abstain from voting.”

At this point, Chair Lee Snover observed that all Commissioners were present for the Green Pond proposal, but she was “quite disappointed” that they all left for this plan. In her opinion, this one is worse.

She also noted that the Township owns the land between the former driving range and a PennDOT facility, and questioned what will become of it. The implication that Snover made, without stating it directly, is that Commissioners might be tempted to sell to Chrin.

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