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Mixed-use ordinance vote delayed

Bath Borough Council has decided to postpone a vote on a contentious mixed-use zoning amendment ordinance.

Council President Mark Saginario addressed council at its Sept. 12 meeting, requesting a vote on the ordinance be delayed.

The ordinance seeks to establish a schedule of permitted use, dimensional requirements for mixed use, accessory uses and special exception uses in the parking overlay district. The area includes 71 properties in the downtown area.

According to Saginario, a number of residents spoke against the ordinance at the August meeting, while business owners generally spoke in favor of mixed use.

The primary issue among residents involved parking.

“In my opinion, it was 50-50,” he said of support for the ordinance. “I personally don’t think we’re there yet.”

Saginario said it’s important to remember “the residents are the taxpayers of the borough” when considering passing such an ordinance.

Before moving forward with a vote, Saginario urged council and the borough administration to look into parking issues.

“The common denominator is parking, parking, parking,” he stressed. “I’m not going to entertain a vote on mixed use until we solve the parking issues.”

Saginario noted Lehigh Valley Planning Commission will conduct a study on parking in the borough. There will be no cost involved for the study.

Council Vice President Michele Ehrgott expressed support for postponing a vote.

“Unless I see the statistics and numbers, I don’t have enough information to make a decision at this time,” she said.

Council President Pro Tem Michael D. Reph agreed with delaying the vote.

“It sounds like a good, logical plan,” he said of obtaining more information before making a final decision.

Council directed borough Manager Brad Flynn to proceed with the parking study through LVPC.

“I’d like to hear what the LVPC says,” Councilwoman Carol Bear-Heckman said.