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A Comprehensive Plan is a guidance document that sets goals, policies, and priorities for investing in the physical, economic, and environmental future of our Town.
Comprehensive Plans typically address a wide range of issues that are important to residents and business leaders. Bethlehem’s current Comprehensive Plan provides an overall vision for our hamlets and our town as a whole, with key priorities and strategies for achieving that vision. It provides direction to the Town for investing in transportation improvements and public facilities, revising or creating new zoning regulations, protecting ecologically-sensitive areas, becoming more environmentally sustainable, and recommending issues for further study. Concept plans and other visuals within the Comprehensive Plan help demonstrate ideas and hoped-for outcomes.
Updating Comprehensive Plans allows communities to refresh the overall vision and update priorities and strategies in light of changing conditions, new challenges, and experience implementing the previous plan.
The most recent Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Town Board in 2005. It can be downloaded from the Economic Development and Planning Department’s Planning Division web pages at Comprehensive Plan (Current).
The 2005 Comprehensive Plan provides a vision up to year 2020, which is just around the corner. As Bethlehem continues to grow, we want to establish our vision for the town over the next 15 to 20 years.
The Update is anticipated to focus more deeply into several issue areas, including transportation and traffic, open space conservation, the character of residential neighborhoods, economic development, and environmental sustainability.
Yes, this will be our first comprehensive Update. That said, progress reports were completed in 2007 and 2013, so this will not be the first time the Comprehensive Plan has been reviewed. The 2005 Comprehensive Plan recommended that, within 5 to 10 years of its adoption, a progress report be produced to assess the degree to which the plan recommendations had been implemented and to identify possible topics and areas that should be revisited and updated.
The Update process is expected to take 12-18 months to complete. To stay informed and learn about ways to participate:
You can share your ideas and more at community forums and by sending emails to CompPlan@townofbethlehem.org . We want to hear from you!
This initiative is being directed by the Planning Department and will be guided by various Town stakeholders, including boards and committees. Through a competitive request for proposal process in the Spring 2019, the Town will hire a consulting firm to prepare the Comprehensive Plan Update.