Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Gateway Project lights up the night

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Have you walked/driven down West Broad Street/3rd Avenue lately? Part 1 of the Gateway project has flipped the switch and lit up the night at this important Gateway to Bethlehem from Route 378. The acorn style streetlights have been switched on and look great.

Coming next will be some back-in angle parking which will add a few needed parking spaces as well as narrow the street a bit and hopefully slowing traffic making it easier to cross on foot.

Come spring, the last part of this phase of the project, the street trees will be planted. The forester is preparing the tree part of the project for bid over the winter with an anticipated spring planting timeline. Keep watching for those next 2 parts.

We are looking for funding to continue the lights and trees further west to 6th or possibly 8th Avenue over the next couple of years to reach the other Route 378 entrance at 8th Avenue.

If Walls Could Talk — House History Workshop 11/29 at BAPL

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Bethlehem Public, Main Library

07:00 pm to 08:30 pm

Unlock the history of your house with an informative workshop. Representatives of Bethlehem’s North by Northwest Neighborhood Initiative and the Library’s reference librarians reveal research tools and techniques to trace your own house history. Personal house research stories provide insight, and participants are guided through a hands-on investigation in the Library’s Bethlehem Room.

Link out

Godzilla Destroys Dreamscape Comics

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Get down to Dreamscape Comics on West Broad Street at 2nd Avenue quick! Godzilla is coming. Saturday is Free Comic Book Day! Dreamscape rocks the comic book scene in Bethlehem. Go check it out!

Gardening for Wildlife – Sand Island

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Hello Bethlehem and Conservation-minded Friends!

In case you haven’t heard about it already, I wanted to let you know about an event going on this weekend on Sand Island. Join us for “Gardening for Wildlife” at the Sand Island Native Plant Preserve (SINPP) along Delaware and Lehigh canal trail (just due east of where the Monocacy enters the Lehigh River, immediately after you cross the walking bridge) on Saturday May 7th, 2-6pm.

Learn how to certify your green space as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation! Guided Plant tours (2 & 5 pm); Live music by Gamelan Mekar Sari (2- 4 pm); Ribbon cutting by Mayor Callahan to dedicate Sand Island status as a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat (4pm); Children’s activities (ongoing): make pinecone bird feeders & become nature detectives.

Hope to see you there!

Maura E. Sullivan

House History Walk, Sept. 30

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Ever wonder about the history of your house, such as when it was built, who were the previous owners, etc.? Join us for two upcoming house history walks where we’ll be exploring the history of some of your neighbors’ homes.

A house tour focused on the Elmwood Park neighborhood on Thursday, September 30th at 6pm. We’ll be meeting at Friendship Park to begin this tour.

The history walks will be a great opportunity to learn more about some of the homes in your neighborhood and you’ll also learn how you can find out the history of your own home.

North By Northwest Neighborhood has created a House Research Guide booklet that provides some tips and tools about how to research the history of your home. Booklets will be distributed at the walks.The first walk, scheduled to meet at Fairview Park on Thursday, September 16th, was postponed because of rain and will be rescheduled for a date in October.

Bike Hitch Rollout

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Bike hitches have started hitting the streets of NbNW starting with East and West Broad Street. In an effort to make the neighborhoods more bike friendly, and with the help of CAT, Public Works and the Streets Depts. bike hitches were installed in 6 spots on East and West Broad.

Look for more hitches soon on Linden and Center Streets.

Curb Appeal – Upgraded Walkability

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Hats off to this NbNW homeowner for not only fixing some sidewalk that needed to be replaced but also, going the distance AND fixing their curbs. If you look around, the curbs and sidewalks are falling apart all over the neighborhood. Fixing the sidewalks and making the neighborhood more walkable one house at a time raises the liveability of the neighborhood and raises the property value. Hats off!

Curb Appeal

Seedbombing – great way to “go native”

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Seedbombing is the practive of spreading seeds into areas you can’t easily physically access by making a ball of clay and compost and embedding some seeds. It’s part of a European movement called Guerilla Gardening, and “Pimp Your Pavement. We have some pretty barren spots around that might benefit from some native plant seed bombs. This gumball machine idea rocks as a way to make it easy for people to help out!

Here is where it came from. Thanks Robin Spilner for the link.

New Draft Zoning Ordinance

Friday, May 14th, 2010

New zoning ordinance summary

Download the Draft

Download the map

The goal of Bethlehem’s new zoning ordinance is to encourage appropriate development in the city’s core while maintaining developed neighborhoods and protecting environmentally-sensitive areas.

Design guidelines have been added to the Central Business District (CB) and Limited Commercial District (CL). While not as strict as historic regulations, the guidelines follow the established urban style including:

Building to front lot line or average front setback on the block;

Main pedestrian access facing front street;

No residential units on the first floor;

Display windows on the street; and

Putting parking in the rear.

The guidelines will ensure infill development is compatible with existing structures.

In addition, the CB district will be expanded to additional areas near Five Points and the CL district has been expanded to include Broad and Fourth streets outside Center City. Parking provisions are included to provide some flexibility for shared or off-site parking in some commercial areas.

Several parts of the ordinance deal with environmental issues. New provisions curtail development along South Mountain and in the 100-year flood plain along the Lehigh River, Monocacy Creek and Saucon Park. The steep slopes section mimics Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s model ordinance and required only minor revisions. An Open Space Development Option is proposed in the Rural Residential district to promote clustering of housing and retain open spaces in environmentally sensitive areas.

Outlying areas of the city which are primarily residential will remain so. Zoning in these areas seeks to maintain the existing density of neighborhoods. The conversion of a building into apartments will no longer be allowed in the RR District. Multi-family dwellings and Planned Unit Developments are no longer allowed in the RS District. Twin homes are an added use in the RG District.

The General Commercial District (CG) allows a mix of housing types primarily in outlying areas. New multifamily (apartment) units are only allowed in buildings that include street level commercial use. That provision also applies to the CL and CB District.

New provisions are included to create work force housing incentives. There is a shortage of affordable housing in Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley and this new section will allow a density bonus for developments that include affordable housing units.

Green building is also addressed in the new ordinance. Provisions are added to permit solar panels and wind turbines. Green building incentives are added for developments that are designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards.

The next step for the new zoning ordinance is seeking input from the public, including environmental, preservation and neighborhood groups and the business community. The ordinance must be reviewed by the Planning Commission before going to City Council for final adoption.

Make comments.

Census – get those forms in!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The City’s overall average response rate to the Census is 69% (range of 85% to 59%). To look at the different Census Tracts in Bethlehem, you can go to: , select Participation Rates, and type in Bethlehem, PA. Click on “Local View”.

As you know, grant money and federal aid is provided to Cities based on their population, so we need to have everyone send in their Census forms. It only costs the government 42 cents for MAILED IN CENSUS FORMS, but $60 if a census worker has to come knocking on your door.

Only Three Days Left To Mail Back Your 2010 Census Form There’s still time to fill out and mail back your 2010 Census form and help our community get the funding it needs. Please fill out and mail back your census form TODAY! If you mail back your form by April 21, you can avoid a visit from a census worker. For each one percent increase in the mail back response rate, we help save $85 million in taxpayer funds for the expensive follow up work load. So not only is it safe, easy, and important, but mailing back the census form can help all of us in the tough fiscal times.

Information provided on Census forms is completely confidential, and it takes between 4 and 7 minutes to complete the 10 questions. The Spanish Council at 520 E. 4th Street is a Census Assistance Center, and anyone can go there to get help filling out the form. A staff from the Census Bureau will be there Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Census staff is bilingual! Let’s make sure everyone is counted.

Thanks to all for your help!

Christine Bartleson, AICP

Community Planner

City of Bethlehem

(w) 610-997-7640