Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

HELP THE REGION WIN A $21 MILLION GRANT - September 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The Lehigh Valley is in the running for a $21.3 million federal grant to help fund a $56 million new commuter road and trail corridor from Allentown’s waterfront along the Lehigh River to Whitehall Township, but we need your help to get this Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (Build) grant.  U.S. Department of Transportation officials have said the region’s grant application is flawless – this is our fifth year trying – but this is a lot of money in a very competitive national program. They say they need to know we want it bad enough. They said they need to hear from our residents.

That’s where you can help show that we not only want it, we need it to help create a road, sidewalk and trail network that pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers can use for recreation and commuting.

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2019 SHAPING UP AS BUSY DEVELOPMENT YEAR - September 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Development across the Lehigh Valley showed no sign of slowing in the first half of 2019, as municipalities approved 574 new housing units and more than 2.8 million square feet of non-residential space.

Even more telling is the amount of development proposed, but not yet approved. Another 1,269 housing units and 6.2 million square feet of non-residential development – a majority of it warehouses – were proposed from January to June, but remain in the approval process.

It continues a trend in which developers try to take advantage of an improving housing market and an online shopping boom that’s made the Lehigh Valley one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions for warehousing and logistics.

It also comes as the LVPC releases FutureLV: The Regional Plan, which maps out a strategy to manage the region’s growth, while preserving the farmland, open space and natural resources that define the Lehigh Valley’s character.

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STILL TIME TO COMMENT ON FUTURELV: THE REGIONAL PLAN -

September 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The Lehigh Valley is growing fast and the world is changing even faster.

FutureLV: The Regional Plan is designed to help us prepare for all that change as a thriving region works to manage its growth and prepare for the arrival of more people, more visitors, more online shopping, more autonomous vehicles and well, just plain more of almost everything.

After nearly three years that included more than 170 public meetings and events and participation by 8,500 residents, a draft of the plan is now available at LVPC.org and at public offices across the region. Serving as the plan for Lehigh and Northampton counties, FutureLV will remain open for public comment through September 23.

The plan includes an innovative approach toward managing a successful region’s continued growth, while protecting the key aspects – farmland, open space, scenic vistas, prime locations – that are so important in defining its high quality of life. But the challenges ahead are many, and will require we work together.

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IS THE LEHIGH VALLEY BECOMING OVERBUILT WITH WAREHOUSES?
 - August 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

With its prime location, able workforce and robust highway network, the Lehigh Valley has become one of the nation’s hottest markets for distribution centers, as developers have built or proposed more than 40 million square feet of new warehouse space just since 2013.

But as available land near major highways like Route 22 and Interstate 78 becomes increasingly scarce, developers have ventured farther into rural regions causing some to ask, is the Lehigh Valley becoming overbuilt with warehouses? Experts say, it depends on how you look at it.

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STARTING THE WALK/ROLL MOVEMENT - July 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Motorists looked on with bemusement as dozens of sign-carrying residents danced in the intersection at Broad and New Streets in Bethlehem. Normally, those kind of actions during rush hour at one of the region’s high crash intersections would bring an arrest or at least a ticket.

But dancing among the group was Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong, PennDOT Press Officer Ron Young and half the Bethlehem Health Bureau. No, this episode of controlled chaos got exactly the reaction that was intended.

It was designed to ignite the Walk/RollLV movement.

“As you may have noticed, we’re trying to create a movement,” said Stephen Repasch, Chairman of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. “A movement that takes a transportation system that was designed primarily for cars, and enhances it to be more for walkers, bikers and rollers – everyone, whether they drive or not. To do that, we need to identify the obstacles in our trail, sidewalk, road and public transit system, and figure out a way to remove them, so we can all get around more easily and more effectively, without what you’re seeing behind us.”

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MULTI-MUNICIPAL STRENGTH IN NUMBERS - July 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Some are seizing on money-savings and efficiency that comes with working together, while others are looking for better ways to protect their farmland and open space.

Twenty-six Lehigh Valley communities representing more than 120,000 people are working on multi-municipal plans designed to manage their futures together, enabling them to save tax dollars and ultimately better handle the development pressure facing all of them.

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Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

961 Marcon Boulevard - Suite 310

Allentown, PA 18109

Phone: (610) 264-4544

Toll Free: (888) 627-8808

Fax: (610) 264-2616