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The owner of three Bethlehem buildings condemned because of damage caused by a nearby sinkhole must either fix the buildings or tear them down. The city issued a raze-or-repair order Monday morning for 713, 715, and 717 N. New St., said Craig Hynes,...

Bethlehem issues raze-or-repair order for condemned buildings

The owner of three Bethlehem buildings condemned because of damage caused by a nearby sinkhole must either fix the buildings or tear them down. The city issued a raze-or-repair order Monday morning for 713, 715, and 717 N. New St., said Craig Hynes,...

Bethlehem issues raze-or-repair order for condemned buildings

The owner of three Bethlehem buildings condemned because of damage caused by a nearby sinkhole must either fix the buildings or tear them down.

The city issued a raze-or-repair order Monday morning for 713, 715, and 717 N. New St., said Craig Hynes, the city's chief code officer.

MORE: Sinkhole found at Bethlehem gas leak site, 3 buildings damaged

Hynes said all three addresses are owned by one person -- Northampton County property records list the owner as Dennis Connell, who lived at 715 N. New St. 

Hynes said it's up to the property owner to decide what to do, but he will have five days to make a decision. One resident who lived at 717 N. New St. said last week that he was told the buildings will be razed.

Hynes said there was no evidence of cracking at the nearby homes of 711 and 719 N. New St., but he was planning to re-check of the homes at 707 and 709, which had some damage.

The city doesn't have to worry about drivers in the area, since the street is closed as crews work to repair damaged utility lines as well as the street itself, Hynes said. The sidewalk in front of the buildings is also taped off from pedestrian traffic.

Hynes said there was a similar sinkhole situation in December 2013 that affected several homes on Market Street in the city.

In that case, one property owner invested the money to repair the home, including pressure grouting the cracks and repairing the foundation, Hynes said.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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