COMMUNITY

Subdivision + Land Development

The LVPC reviews every subdivision and land development plan for all 62 municipalities in Lehigh and Northampton counties. The LVPC serves as the regional expert on planning, zoning and development, and through development reviews aims to coordinate land use decisions across municipal boundaries and provide guidance on best practices to encourage an efficient development process that is responsive to regional needs.

All subdivision and land development proposals, from lot line adjustments to land uses of regional significance, are reviewed for consistency with FutureLV: The Regional Plan, as well as other plans such as Livable Landscapes Open Space Plans for Lehigh and Northampton counties, Housing Plan, Walk/Roll LV Active Transportation Plan and municipal and multimunicipal comprehensive plans. The LVPC provides a review letter to municipalities that determines project consistency and often offers advisory guidance to improve upon the submittal.

Land uses of regional significance and other substantial projects are also reviewed by the LVPC’s Comprehensive Planning Committee and by the LVPC Full Commission, both in public meetings.

All subdivision and land development plans reviewed by the LVPC must be submitted with the required application and associated materials, in complete form, in order to be accepted by the Commission. Effective January 1, 2021, a new application has been implemented to improve the efficiency of the review process for all parties involved. All submittals must include the new application.

  • FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    What is required for a plan to be accepted?

    • All required plan elements, copies, materials and fees must be provided for a submittal to be accepted. Incomplete submittals will not be accepted or retained.
    • Any plan sets submitted must be signed and sealed by the designer.
    • Please see the application for submittal requirement details.

    Is a fee required for this plan to be reviewed?

    • The LVPC review fee is required for a complete submittal.
    • Fees are waived for Lehigh and Northampton County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or Federal submittals. No exceptions are granted for municipal, school district, or utility authority projects.

    What payment methods are accepted for review fees?

    • Review fees may be paid via check or cash. Credit or debit cards are not accepted.

     Are separate fee submittals required for subdivision and stormwater reviews?

    • Separate checks are not required for plans that require both a land development and stormwater review.

    What is the fee for a preliminary plan if a sketch plan was previously reviewed by the LVPC?

    • A subsequent preliminary review fee is $115 for residential or $300 for non-residential uses, plus half of the calculated cost per unit or square foot.

    Will the LVPC review a sketch plan?

    • Sketch plans will only be reviewed by the LVPC if an LVPC review is required by the municipality, per the municipal zoning ordinance or subdivision and land development ordinance (SALDO).

    How do I submit for a building or use conversion?

    • Building and use conversion proposals follow the same application process as land development reviews. The fee is calculated according to the proposed building use and square footage.

    Do the plans need to be signed and sealed by the designer?

    • Yes, the plans must be signed and sealed by the designer, whether or not the municipality requires it.

    What happens if my submission is incomplete?

    • Incomplete submissions are not accepted for review. The LVPC is not liable for materials that are submitted as an incomplete package. It is recommended that the applicant ensures all application criteria and materials are included prior to submitting.

    How long will the review process take?

    • The LVPC will issue a review letter within 30 days of acceptance of a complete plan submittal.

    How will a review determination be provided?

    • A paper copy of the review letter will be mailed to the municipality(ies).
    • A digital PDF of the review letter will be emailed to the municipality, project engineer, and any related project partners. Please indicate on the application the email addresses of anyone wishing to be copied on the email.

    When is resubmission of land development plans required?

    • Resubmission for LVPC review is required if the plan design has substantially changed, or if it has been longer than 5 years since the LVPC reviewed the plans. (See also: Stormwater Review Resubmission)

    How is the need for stormwater review determined?

    • Any land development that creates 10,000 square feet or more of impervious cover must submit appropriate materials for stormwater review.
    • For proposals built out in stages, the cumulative impervious cover must be compared to the 10,000-square-foot standard to determine if a stormwater review is required. Place contact the LVPC Environment Team for additional information.
    • Any additional areas proposed to initially be gravel, crushed stone, porous pavement, etc. shall be assumed to be impervious for the purpose of comparison to the exemption criteria. Any existing gravel, crushed stone or hard-packed soil areas on a site shall be considered as pervious cover for the purpose of exemption evaluation.

    When is resubmission of stormwater management plans required?

    • Resubmission for LVPC review of stormwater management plans and calculations is required if land development plans or the stormwater design have substantially changed.
    • The resubmission of plans for stormwater review is required when the design has previously been found inconsistent with the stormwater ordinance.
  • FINAL PLAN SIGNING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    How do I obtain LVPC signature on my final plans prior to recording?

    • Final plans for signature are currently being accepted by drop-off only.
    • Plans may be dropped off inside the LVPC office during normal business hours (8:30am-5pm).
    • In order to comply with COVID-19 safety standards, masks are required for entry. Plans must be placed on the table located immediately inside the LVPC office.
    • Please use the sign-in sheet on the table to provide a contact name and e-mail address to be notified when the plans are ready for pick-up, typically within 3-5 business days depending on volume.

    What is required?

    • If final plans differ significantly from the preliminary reviewed by the LVPC, a resubmission for preliminary review may be required. (See also: Land Development Plan Resubmission)
    • Plans must have been signed by the municipality within the last 90 days.
    • The LVPC will retain a paper copy of the signed plans that must be provided upon signing. Contact the municipality and the Lehigh/Northampton County Recorder of Deeds for information on copies required for those agencies.

     

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