Nov 12, 2008
No Christmas For Merchants
The Klan would be proud of the disrespect being shown the Asian merchants of Hamilton Street. Last year, right before Christmas, all the foot traffic created from the bus transfer stops was eliminated. This year for Christmas, Allentown is finally enforcing a fourteen year old amendment concerning security gates. The merchants have been given 90 days to change out their gates from solid to mesh. They have been told, that although many of the gates have been installed since 1994 with approved permits, no solid gates will be grandfathered. They have been also told that appeals will prove to be useless, and frowned upon. The new gates are costing anywhere between two to seven thousand dollars each depending upon width. Imagine being told in November of 2008, that your gate installed by permit in 2000, is out of compliance with an amendment passed November 4, 1994. Please click and enlarge the above document to see how it feels to be a Coolie in Allentown. Word on the street is that this idea came from the Fegleys of the Brew Work, via a "Vision Committee". Once again Pawlowski forsakes long-term taxpayers and reality, to cater to grant recipients and an imaginary gentrification.
UPDATE: An officer in the code department was kind enough to answer a few questions from me. He stated that from a safety viewpoint concerning fire, and the buildings are all adjoined, the solid gates prevented fires from being seen. This seems to be a valid point. As often the case, , my issues are with Executive decisions, not those officials responsible for carrying out the mandates.
UPDATE 2: Isn't it interesting that Johnny's Manana's, as a startup business in a brand new building, was given a facade grant for 50k, while these merchants, who have been here for many years, were not offered any help to pay for these gates in front of their buildings.