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Posted on: November 16, 2020

Stay Connected During Bethlehem’s Comprehensive Plan Update

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The Town of Bethlehem is updating its Comprehensive Plan to help guide the future of our community. The updated Comprehensive Plan will inform the community’s land use, development, policy, programs, and infrastructure decisions for the next 15 years. Bethlehem Forward  is designed to encourage town residents to stay connected to ongoing activities and events by signing up for announcements, meeting invitations, survey opportunities, and other interactive ways to participate through the website www.BethlehemForward.com, liking and sharing the Facebook and Instagram posts to spread the word about the planning process, and emailing thoughts and ideas to bethlehemforward@townofbethlehem.org.

To be effective, the Comprehensive Plan must build on the shared visions and goals of the Bethlehem community.  Residents are invited to post a picture of what they love in Bethlehem with the hashtag #BethlehemForward on Instagram, or Like on Facebook at @BethlehemForward, and to provide feedback on what they want Bethlehem to look like; what kinds of commercial services do they want to attract and where; how can the town best manage traffic and create a more walk and bike friendly community; where are more parks and natural spaces needed; and how can the town plan for a future community that makes it residents proud to live, work, and play in Bethlehem for years to come.

Through the end of 2021, Bethlehem will continue to seek public input in a variety of ways.  Town Supervisor David VanLuven is excited to see an active community engagement effort, stating, “Bethlehem Forward is our opportunity to recognize the things that make Bethlehem such a wonderful place to live and have a business, and to identify what we need to do together to continue and enhance them.  The key to success is active participation by all of our residents, which is why we’re creating so many different avenues for input.”  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many options for residents to participate will be available online throughout the year. The Town will also offer small in-person activities, mailings, and pop-up events in an attempt to reach all populations, especially those that may not be comfortable with, or have access to, the online platforms.

The Economic Development and Planning Department is leading Bethlehem Forward and the Town convened a Comprehensive Plan Update Committee (CPUC) to provide guidance for the project and ensure that the Plan addresses issues relevant to all stakeholders.  The Town hired a consulting team to assist with the Comprehensive Plan Update.  The team includes members from SWBR, Highland Planning, Fisher Associates, and Kevin Dwarka LLC.  Contact Bethlehem Director of Planning Robert Leslie, AICP at rleslie@townofbethlehem.org or 518-439-495 x1157.

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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 a Town. Bethlehem’s most recent Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2005 and provided a vision up to year 2020. The Comprehensive Plan Update will establish a vision for the town over the next 15 years.

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