Posted by Real-Time News.
Allentown City Council voted 5-2 to grant a zoning request to allow the market at Tilghman and Front streets to build additional warehouse space.
Allentown City Council on Wednesday approved an expansion for Elias Market over the objection of two neighbors.
Council voted 5-2 to grant a zoning request to allow the market at Tilghman and Front streets to build additional warehouse space on the site of three homes and a parking lot on Railroad Street.
Council members Ray O’Connell and Jeannette Eichenwald were sympathetic to the complaints of two brothers who live next-door to the market on Front Street. Byron and Denzel Morris brought photographs of high weeds, damaged walls and piled up shopping carts to show council.
“At any given time in the day you can … hear trucks idling outside your window,” Byron Morris added. “When as a resident are you able to sleep?”
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While saying Elias Market was a good business, Eichenwald and O’Connell said they wanted the company to fix the exterior problems before they would support an expansion.
“I’m very disturbed by the pictures,” Eichenwald said. “The weeds here are enormously high, there are broken parts of the building – I wouldn’t want to live next to it.”
Other council members said they didn’t want to hold up a rezoning request for items that could be fixed quickly.
“I hate to see because of weeds it is taking up all of our conversation – take care of it,” Councilman Joe Davis said. “These are all very simple things that could be changed.”
Owner Gus Elias said he would address the high weeds. The broken walls will be taken down once the expansion occurs and the air compressors are moved on the roof, he said. The company built the walls to shield the compressors but later had to cut holes in them allow air in, Elias said.
“With the new building they won’t even see compressors or hear compressors, everything will be on the roof,” Elias said.
Elias Market is looking to expand the existing 2,700 square feet of warehouse space by about 4,300 square feet. The additional warehouse space will allow the owners to expand the store’s narrow aisles and keep the store open during construction.
“The store is in desperate need of a modernization,” Elias engineer Steve Pany said.