Borough Council Nixes Raised Crosswalk Plan
Hellertown Borough Council voted Sept. 17 to permit the owner of a home near Dimmick Park to install sidewalks around it instead of paying for a raised crosswalk on Durham Street.
An unusual aspect of a pedestrian access agreement that was forged between Hellertown Borough and Silver Creek Country Club earlier this year was made null and void by borough council Sept. 17.
Property owner Kevin Lott approached council about the agreement, which he said would present him with a hardship.
The agreement stipulated that in lieu of sidewalks around the perimeter of a corner property the country club had subdivided and was selling, a raised crosswalk across Durham Street would have to be installed nearby.
Lott was ultimately the buyer of the property at 621 Durham Street that was the focus of discussions about whether the sidewalks should be required.
He told council he has had second thoughts about purchasing the historic home and acre lot that surrounds it, and described the sale process as difficult.
"It was hard to get information from the Silver Creek Country Club when they were selling it, quite frankly," he said. "At the (property) auction there were a lot of questions, because it wasn’t a typical sale."
Lott told council that as the new owner of the property he would prefer to install the sidewalks that the borough originally sought to require, in spite of the fact that a number of mature trees will have to be cut down to allow for them.
The crosswalk agreement would require him to buy half a million dollars in insurance and is " truly for a developer," he said.
"I’m basically asking for some relief," he added. "I'm not a developer."
Council members said they would provide that relief, since they would have preferred an agreement to have sidewalks installed in the first place.
A motion to change the agreement to require sidewalks instead of the raised crosswalk near the entrance to the borough pool was approved unanimously.
"I personally think your property will look nicer with the sidewalks on it," council president Phil Weber told Lott, who will have to replace the trees that are removed.
Lott said he eventually plans to move into the fieldstone house, which is prominently located across from Dimmick Park at the north end of Constitution Avenue.
"I’m hoping to...make it a nice place," he said.