Register for Phase 4 Working Groups
Updated: Apr 20, 2021
South Whitehall Township is entering Phase 4 of the Comprehensive Plan Update. Phase 4 is focused on identifying, discussing, and developing recommended goals, policies, and actions to be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan Update. These recommendations will be developed by citizen volunteer Working Groups – reflecting five major elements of the Comprehensive Plan Update (Housing; Transportation; Community Facilities; Community Utilities; Resource Protection). The March 31st Phase 4 Kickoff Meeting provided brief overviews of each topic – presentations and meeting recordings from the March 31st meeting can be accessed here .
Community members interested in joining the Phase 4 Working Groups can sign-up below to participate in the Phase 4 Working Groups.
The Community Facilities Working Group will review the wide array of Township owned and other public facilities serving residents. Discussion of future demands and recommendations for future facility modification, new facilities and expansion of existing facilities will occur. Such facilities include, but are not limited to, Township recreation, municipal buildings and services, fire and police, libraries, and health care facilities. It will also include discussion and analysis of public and private education and projected enrollment for School District planning purposes.
The Community Utilities Working Group will focus on existing, required, and future community utilities. These utilities include water supply, treatment and distribution, sewerage and waste treatment, solid waste management, storm drainage, floodplain management, utility corridors and associated facilities, as well as broadband and 5G networks. Review of the operation and adequacy of existing utilities and underserved locations, those areas requiring extension of public sewer and water lines to address deficiencies, internet coverage and expansion of electricity and natural gas, flood and storm water facilities will be conducted and recommendations for future modification, expansion, or new facilities will be an outcome of the work.
The Housing Working Group will be introduced to the status of existing housing in the Township, including type, location, cost and future population projections. The group’s discussion and analysis will address needs of present and future residents and families that currently or will reside in the Township. Recommendations may include conservation of existing housing, rehabilitation of older and non-code compliant housing, trends in housing both demand and innovation, appropriate housing densities, and the location and accommodation of new housing. Discussion will include review of a variety of dwelling and neighborhood types and appropriateness for households of all income levels.
The Resource Protection Working Group will review the location and status of natural, historical, and agricultural resources in the Township. Identified resources include existing woodlands, steep slopes, streams, wetlands and aquifer recharge areas, prime agricultural land, flood plains, unique natural areas and historic sites. Opportunities for future preservation of farms, wildlife corridors, unique and rare natural features, historic buildings and locations and linking of greenways will be highlighted. Recommendations for preservation, expansion and enhancement will be an outcome of this group’s work.
The Transportation Working Group will address the movement of people and goods, including highway and local street systems, parking facilities, pedestrian and bikeway systems, public transit routes, multimodal terminals, railroad facilities and other similar facilities or uses. Transportation modeling, existing traffic data and projections as well as plans for active transportation projects in the Township will be reviewed to understand existing conditions, proposed impacts and future needs of the Township. Recommendations may include future traffic improvements, identification of commercial corridors, needed road extensions and connections, future trail connections, and pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
WORKING GROUP EXPECTATIONS/SCHEDULE
The Comprehensive Plan Phase 4 Working Groups are voluntary and open to all community members. Please note that Working Group Meetings #1, #2, and #3 will occur by topic area. If you sign-up for more than one Working Group Topic, you will be attending multiple meetings each week during Meetings #1, #2, and #3.
Proposed Working Group Meeting Schedule:
Working Group Introductory Meeting (2 hours): Members from all five working groups will convene to receive additional background and guidance on the Working Group Process.
Meeting #1 – Evaluate Existing Conditions and Identify Future Priorities [by Working Group Topic Area] (1.5 hours/meeting): What’s working and what isn’t? What do we want to keep from the 2009 Comprehensive Plan and what do we want to change? What data do we have and what additional data do we need to evaluate our path forward?
Meeting #2 – Assess Best Practices and Develop Key Recommendations for Comprehensive Plan Update [by Working Group Topic Area] (1.5 hours/meeting): How should we move forward? Based on the evaluation from Meeting #1, Working Group participants will hear from Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) Subject Matter Experts on best practices. Working Group members will identify key recommendations to build out during Meeting #3.
Meeting #3 – Build out Recommendations for Comprehensive Plan Update [by Working Group Topic Area] (1.5 hours/meeting): Where the rubber meets the road! Working Group members will build out a clear action plan for their selected Comprehensive Plan Update recommendations.
Final Meeting – Working Group Report Out and Conclusion of Phase 4 (2 hours): Members from all five Working Groups will convene to present their Working Group recommendations to other Working Group Members, South Whitehall Township Staff, Subject Matter Experts, and Consultant Team. Following the Concluding Meeting, a summary report of recommendations from all Working Groups will be developed and distributed.