Bethlehem is growing and will continue to grow as people are attracted to our wonderful neighborhoods, strong schools, amazing library, vibrant commercial areas, and welcoming town character. This is a great place to live, and people want to live here. To help ensure that this growth supports and enhances the characteristics that make Bethlehem such an attractive place to be, the Town is undertaking a complete update of the Comprehensive Plan, which was last adopted in 2005.
Phase 1 of the Comprehensive Plan Update opened with community forums in Slingerlands, Selkirk, South Bethlehem, Delmar, Glenmont, North Bethlehem, and Elsmere from November 2018 to March 2019. Residents and business leaders discussed what each hamlet and Bethlehem were and what we want them to be in the future. Key themes that emerged from these conversations were Neighborhoods, Transportation, Aging and Housing, Economic Development, Parks and Recreation, Environment, and Government. These themes will be explored further and addressed in the Comprehensive Plan Update.
The Town is creating a Comprehensive Plan Update Advisory Committee to work closely with Town staff and a consultant on the Comprehensive Plan Update. Members will be expected to actively participate in meetings and read all materials beforehand, actively serve as community ambassadors to engage as many residents as possible in the process, and help get information out to residents and businesses.
To apply: Please send a cover letter describing your interest, background, and special skills or expertise that you would bring to the Committee to rnagengast@TownOfBethlehem.org.
Deadline: Friday, August 9, 2019 (but you don’t need to wait until the last minute!)
Timeline: The Town Board and Town staff will hold interviews in late August with the goal of the Town Board appointing the committee at its September 11, 2019 meeting.
Phase 2 will involve using the insights and ideas from Phase 1, plus additional community input, to draft a vision for the next 10-15 years, goals and objectives, and strategies and actions for accomplishing them. We plan to work with a consultant and a Comprehensive Plan Update Advisory Committee to create this first draft of the Comprehensive Plan Update. We also anticipate holding additional town-wide forums on specific topics such as traffic, economic development, and farms, parks, and natural areas. We are looking to complete the Comprehensive Plan Update by mid to late 2020.