Comprehensive Plan Update Committee

Check out the project at, and on Facebook and Instagram!


Watch "Bethlehem Today" Video!

Just released! Watch this special "Bethlehem Today" video presentation before Bethlehem Forward's Public Meeting #2 (March 23rd at 6:00 - register here!) to gain a richer understanding of "where we are now" as a community!

(Direct link to video here:

Learn about the Town's "community profile": our natural environments and farmland areas, trends in population growth and demographics, traffic and transportation issues, sustainability efforts, housing patterns, economic development progress, and more! A shorter version of this presentation will be given during Public Meeting #2, but if you enjoy going a little deeper into the details, please watch!

Questions? Email us at!

Regular Meetings - Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend! Join the monthly CPUC meetings held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm via Zoom. Public meetings for Bethlehem Forward are held periodically throughout the project - stay tuned here or at for updates!

January 11th CPUC Meeting, 6:00 pm via Zoom:  The meeting agenda will include a review and discussion regarding revisions to the draft Plan based on public comments received at the November 18, 2021 Public Meeting.  See agenda here.  Register for the meeting here!

Needs and Opportunities Survey #1
A "Needs and Opportunities" survey for Bethlehem Forward was conducted in November and December, 2020.  Thank you to the over 1,800 people who submitted responses!  The project team is in the process of summarizing these responses to help guide the planning process ahead.  Check back on this page or at soon for these survey findings!


  • Rad Anderson
  • Anne Benware
  • Paul Beyer
  • Tom Coffey
  • Dania Flores
  • Jim Grady


  • Brian Gyory
  • Bill Ketzer
  • Ed Kleinke
  • Kathleen Mannix
  • Jeremy Snyder
  • Kelly Vadney
  • Giles Wagoner

Town Representatives

  • Robert Leslie, AICP - Director of Planning

What is Bethlehem Forward?  "Bethlehem Forward: Your Town. Your voice." is the Town of Bethlehem's effort to engage the whole community in creating the next Comprehensive Plan Update (last written in 2005). The Bethlehem Forward effort is supported by Town staff, a professional consultant team, and an advisory group of Bethlehem residents (the CPUC).

What is the CPUC?  The Comprehensive Plan Update Committee - or CPUC - is a group of 12 volunteer residents who have agreed to dedicate their time to advise Town Staff and the consultant team throughout the Bethlehem Forward, or Comprehensive Plan Update, process. These people are listed below.

Who participates?  All community members - we need YOU! To be effective, we need a robust community dialogue to find a shared vision and goals. "Your town. Your voice."

Why should I get involved?  This is a unique opportunity to guide the future of your community by answering questions like: What are our housing needs? What kinds of commercial services do we want to attract and where? Where do we need more parks? How can we best manage traffic and have safe walking and bicycling? And more!

When is this happening?  Now through Fall of 2021 - join us!

Who can I contact if I have a comment, question, or need help with getting involved?  Email, or call 518-439-4955 x 1157.

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. Like many other communities, the challenge facing the Town is to harness the power of growth in a manner that maintains and enhances the quality of life that Town residents have come to know and enjoy. Also, growth must be experienced in a fiscally and aesthetically responsible manner. In recent years, many concerns have been voiced in the community about the unplanned consequences of growth.

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. The plan will help to establish a shared community vision for the future and an action plan to achieve it. The planning process will weave together the realities of changing economic and demographic conditions while building broad community consensus on the key values that define the Town of Bethlehem. As part of the planning process, amendments to Town Zoning Law and Subdivision Regulations will be considered, and Town-wide policy and capital projects will also be considered to implement the vision. The project is scheduled to commence in late 2019 and to be completed by Spring/Summer 2021. There will be several public meetings, focus group discussions around key topics, and many other opportunities for public participation in the process. 

The Comprehensive Plan Update Committee appointed at the October 10, 2019 Town Board will prepare a proposed comprehensive plan update for the Town. The Committee is required to hold public hearings and such other meetings and events as it deems necessary to assure full opportunity for citizen participation in the preparation of the plan. The Committee will ultimately approve a resolution recommending the proposed comprehensive plan update to the Town Board. The preparation of the comprehensive plan update will be spearheaded by a consulting team (TBD). The Director of Planning is designated to provide day to day project management services and support to the Committee.

Phase 1

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.

Community Forums Summary

Community Forums Summary Presentation to Town Board

Neighborhood Theme Forum Feedback Matrix

Aging and Housing Theme Forum Feedback Matrix

Transportation Theme Forum Feedback Matrix

Environment Theme Forum Feedback Matrix

Parks and Recreation Theme Forum Feedback Matrix

Economic Development Theme Forum Feedback Matrix

Government Forum Feedback Matrix

Phase 2

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 Spring/Summer 2021.

Relevant Information

2005 Comprehensive Plan

2007 Comprehensive Plan Oversight Committee Report

2013 Comprehensive Plan Assessment Committee Report