Bethlehem launches website to engage residents in updating comprehensive plan

BETHLEHEM — Bethlehem is updating its comprehensive plan to help guide the town’s future. The updated comprehensive plan will inform the community’s land use, development, policy, programs, and infrastructure decisions for the next 15 years.

Bethlehem’s most recent comprehensive plan was adopted in 2005, providing a vision up to year 2020. 

The website Bethlehem Forward is designed to encourage town residents to stay connected to ongoing activities and events by signing up for announcements, meeting invitations, survey opportunities, and other ways to participate at, liking and sharing the Facebook and Instagram posts to spread the word about the planning process, and emailing thoughts and ideas to

“To be effective, the comprehensive plan must build on the shared visions and goals of the Bethlehem community,” says a release from the town.

Residents are invited to post a picture of what they love in Bethlehem with the hashtag #BethlehemForward on Instagram, or Like on Facebook at @BethlehemForward.

They are also asked to provide their thoughts on what they want Bethlehem to look like; what kinds of commercial services they want to attract and where; how the town can best manage traffic and create a more walkable and bikeable place ; where more parks and natural spaces are needed; and how the town can plan for a future community that makes it residents proud to live, work, and play in Bethlehem for years to come.

Through the end of 2021, Bethlehem will continue to seek public input in a variety of ways.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many options for residents to participate will be available online throughout the year. The town will also offer small in-person activities, mailings, and pop-up events in an attempt to reach all populations, especially those that may not be comfortable with, or have access to, the online platforms.

The Economic Development and Planning Department is leading Bethlehem Forward and the town convened a Comprehensive Plan Update Committee to provide guidance for the project and ensure that the plan addresses issues relevant to all stakeholders.

The town hired a consulting team to assist with the plan update. The team includes members from SWBR, Highland Planning, Fisher Associates, and Kevin Dwarka LLC.

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