Renew Lehigh Valley (RenewLV) announces a series of public meetings to engage the residents of the Lehigh Valley in a regional planning project called Envision Lehigh Valley. The public meetings will garner residents’ views and input on the overall quality of life in their neighborhood and the greater Lehigh Valley.
The Envision Lehigh Valley public meetings are intended to educate and to engage the residents of the Lehigh Valley in an integral planning process for the future of the community. According to the latest US Census data, the Lehigh Valley is projected to grow by another 188,700 people (32.6%), or 72,000 households, by 2030.
The amount of open space and agricultural lands has decreased by 22% since 1975. Where will these households go? The median income in Lehigh County is $53,000 while the median income in Northampton County is $58,000; however, in one municipality in the region the median household income is as low as $36,202. Will there be enough jobs that are accessible for a wide variety of skills and education levels? What planning decisions must be made now in order to properly prepare for the challenges the Valley will face in the next twenty years?
Public meetings will kick off with an introduction to the Envision Lehigh Valley project and its goals; however, the majority of the meeting will be spent listening to residents’ perspectives in facilitated small group discussions. Scheduled meetings are listed below, with other regional meetings still to be added to the events calendar:
- Monday, October 1: Public Meeting @ Whitehall Public Library from 6-8pm
- Tuesday, October 2: Public Meeting @ Macungie Institute from 6-8pm
- Thursday, October 4: Public Meeting @ Wilson Intermediate School from 6-8pm
- Tuesday, October 9: Public Meeting @ Liberty High School in Bethlehem from 6-8pm
- Thursday, October 11: Public Meeting @ Nazareth Intermediate School from 6-8pm
- Tuesday, October 16: Public Meeting @ Lower Macungie Community Center from 7-9pm
- Thursday, October 18: Public Meeting @ Diamond Social Hall in Slatington from 6pm-8pm
- Tuesday, October 23: Public Meeting @ Calypso Elementary School in Bethlehem from 6-8pm
- Tuesday, October 30: Public Meeting @ St. Luke’s Church in Allentown at 6:30pm
- Monday, November 5: Public Meeting @ Salisbury HS from 6-8pm
- Thursday, November 8: Public Meeting @ Lehigh County Senior Center in Allentown at 6:30pm
- Wednesday, November 14: Public Meeting @ Fowler Family Southside Community Center in Bethlehem from 6-8pm
- Wednesday, November 14: Public Meeting @ Lehigh Carbon Community College from 6-8pm
All information gathered will be analyzed by the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium and be used to develop five specific plans by the end of the three-year grant in 2014:
- Lehigh Valley Regional Affordable Housing Plan;
- Regional Sustainable Economic Development Plan;
- Jobs/Housing Balance Study;
- Climate and Energy Conservation Plan; and
- Fresh Food Access Plan.
Each plan will include a study of the topic and outlined goals that were identified through public engagement and stakeholder meetings. The final plans will include recommendations for implementation in local policy and will be summarized by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission as they update their Comprehensive Plan The Lehigh Valley … 2030.