The Town has contracted with consultants Bergmann and Prospect Hill to assist with updates to the Town’s Zoning and Subdivision Codes (referred to here simply as Zoning.)
This Zoning Update will reflect the vision, values and guiding principles of the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan (June 2022). The Comprehensive Plan is based on six overarching principles; Interwoven Equity, Livable Built Environment, Harmony with Nature, Resilient Economy, Healthy Community and Responsible Governance and Regionalism.
The Zoning Update will assist the Town Board, the Planning Board, and Town Department of Economic Development and Planning in codifying the policies and recommendations that are outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. New land use regulations must appropriately address and guide new development and redevelopment within the community in an environmentally sustainable manner while also meeting the service demands that come with community growth.
The Zoning Code Update is partially funded through a NYSDOS Environmental Protection Fund Smart Growth Community Planning and Zoning Program grant.
Please provide any thoughts on the Town's existing zoning code and subdivision regulations to BethlehemForward@townofbethlehem.org.
The Bethlehem Planning Board will serve as the advisory body during development of the project. Pursuant to Zoning Law 128-92, the Planning Board shall provide a final recommendation on the zoning updates to the Town Board, prior to Town Board adoption. The consultant will attend several regularly scheduled Planning Board meetings coinciding with key milestones during the project to gather input and share its latest findings. As with all Planning Board meetings, these advisory sessions are open to the public.
All Planning Board meetings that include Zoning Update sessions will be noted in the Meetings and Events section below, as well as through featured news items on the Town’s website. All meeting materials will be included on the associated Planning Board agenda (links to these agendas will be included below.) In addition, there will be several community workshops and stakeholder focus groups held throughout the course of the project. Meeting dates and materials will be included below and through featured news items.
Planning Board Advisory Session #3
Thursday, 11/16/2023 | 6:00 pm | Town Hall Auditorium
Consultant gave an update on the schedule and the task items performed to date. They presented a summary of the Code Assessment document and the Preliminary Residential Districts Framework. The preliminary district framework is focused on establishing the district identity including defining the purpose, density, and general character. Design and development standards as well as additional regulations for each district will be created under Part 3 in the schedule during the first part of 2024.
Planning Board Advisory Session #2
Tuesday, 8/1/2023 | 6:00 pm | Town Hall Auditorium
Consultant presented a framework for assessing the Town’s current zoning code, identifying issues and opportunities (written code assessment will be posted here in the coming weeks); reported on results of public input, including the development preference survey and feedback from the May public workshop.
Public Workshop #1
Wednesday, 5/31/2023 | 6:00 pm | Town Hall Auditorium
Consultant led a presentation about the project scope and process, introduction to land use and smart growth principles, and launch of a visual community preference survey. Attendees had an opportunity to visit breakout activity stations to discuss and provide feedback on key topic areas including land use, natural resources, and clean energy.
Activity Station Boards
Planning Board Advisory Session #1
Tuesday, 3/21/2023 | 6:30 pm | Town Hall Auditorium
Consultant provided an overview of the project and led initial discussion with the Planning Board. Led a presentation about the various types of zoning that could be used in Bethlehem’s zoning update.