Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

LVTS, LVPC ADOPT FUTURELV: THE REGIONAL PLAN - November 2019,

Matt Assad, Managing Editor

FutureLV: The Regional Plan got unanimous approval from the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study October 2, and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission followed with unanimous approval of the plan on October 31, ending a three-month period of debate that saw the plan receive more than 200 public comments.

The approvals open a new phase in which FutureLV will head to the Lehigh County Commissioners, Northampton County Council, and the US Department of Transportation over the coming weeks and months.

FutureLV is designed to help the Lehigh Valley manage its steady economic, population and job growth over the next 25 years, while preserving the farmland, recreation and open space that defines the quality of life residents have come to expect. The LVTS approval was necessary to keep transportation money flowing into the region for the current Transportation Improvement Program that is investing $534 million on road, bridge, trail and transit projects over four years.

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PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP IS OUR 2019 COMMUNITY OF DISTINCTION -

November 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Plainfield Township’s part in the first ever 10-community Slate Belt regional plan, it’s integral role in starting the Slate Belt Regional Police department and its purchasing agreements with neighboring communities are prime examples of municipal cooperation in action.

But where Plainfield has really put its partnerships to work is in its efforts to protect the environment. The Township has partnered with Northampton County to expand the Two Rivers Trail, established its own Appalachian Trail Conservation Overlay District designed to protect the Mountain, adopted new conservation by design policies and put a focus on farmland preservation.

For these reasons, and many more, Plainfield Township was named the LVPC’s 2019 Community of Distinction October 16, during the 6th Annual Lehigh Valley Gala + Awards at DeSales University. The award is given each year to one community that’s practiced a long-term commitment to planning excellence, innovation and municipal cooperation.

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STRENGTH THROUGH MUNICIPAL PARTNERSHIPS - November 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Three years from now, more than half of Lehigh Valley municipalities could be in multi-municipal agreements that will help them save money and increase efficiency of services, while protecting their farmland and open space.

Twenty-six communities are currently building Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plans that are expected to be in place in by 2021, six completed one last year and four more are about to begin the process.

The Multi-Municipal trend prompted municipal leaders from across the region to gather Wednesday for the latest LVPC Planning & Pizza session, to discuss the benefits – and challenges -- of multi-municipal planning.

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LEHIGH VALLEY GROWTH AND RESILIENCY ON NATIONAL DISPLAY - November 2019,

Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Consumer goods, warehouses, trucks, and well, people have been flowing into the Lehigh Valley in increasing amounts in recent years. So, how does a region remain resilient in the face of extreme growth and extreme weather?

The answer is education, planning and investment, LVPC Executive Director Becky Bradley told more than 50 directors from Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) from across the country October 29, during the National Association of Regional Council’s Executive Director’s national conference.

Because of its strong commitment and focus on the environment and resiliency and its efforts in helping to prepare a growing region for extreme weather and disaster, the LVPC was invited to make a presentation on “Promoting Regional Resiliency.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized by peer organizations, including many larger than our region, as a leader on resiliency,” Bradley said. “The balance between environmental land use, hazard mitigation, open space, climate change and even the economy has put the work of the LVPC on the map.”

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FREIGHT LEADERS TOUT LINKING LAND USE AND TRANSPORTATION - November 2019,

Matt Assad, Managing Editor

How land is developed impacts the transportation system, just as where transportation investment are made affects how land will be developed. Yet, in most regions the comprehensive land use plan and transportation plan are separate documents.

And that was the case in the Lehigh Valley, until October, when FutureLV: The Regional Plan was approved by the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study and LVPC. For the first time, the region’s plan links $2.5 billion in transportation investment over the next 25 years to land use policies designed to build active centers and corridors, while preserving farmland and open space.

As members of Multi-State Freight Working Group met at LVPC in October, some of the Northeast’s foremost transportation and freight leaders viewed the concept as something that could, and maybe should, be duplicated across the nation.

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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