Nazareth Borough Council held a special meeting on Thursday, September 1 to discuss the adoption of the Nazareth Area Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan.
The purpose of the Nazareth Area Multi-Municipal Plan, known as NazPlan, is to enable the Boroughs of Bath, Chapman, Nazareth, Stockertown and Tatamy and the townships of Bushkill, Hanover, Lower Nazareth, Moore and Upper Nazareth to shape their collective vision for the future.
NazPlan asserts, “Each municipality will keep their autonomy and control, but planning as a region will enable them to take advantage of geographic similarities and address their common priorities, while better managing an evolving development landscape. The Multi-Municipal Plan will allow them to determine common goals and objectives for areas of land use, housing, air quality, transportation, development, recreational facilities, the conservation of natural and scenic resources, the preservation of farmland and fostering economic development, in addition to identifying ways to share resources.”
NazPlan representative Geoff Reese attended the meeting to answer any questions or concerns that the borough had in regard to the adoption of the plan.
Reese shared that the primary benefits of the plan under the state law enable the 10 represented communities to plan together in order to distribute required uses. Reese stated that the plan will provide advantages to transportation for the communities to work together, as well as transportation and traffic implications of various land developments where each of the 10 municipalities will have their opinions recognized by the other communities involved.
Council Vice President Carl Fischl asked, “We’re surrounded by warehouses, are you going to deal with that?”
Reese explained that NazPlan will help with zoning in communities by addressing what the appropriate locations are, relative to road and water infrastructure. Since one of the plan’s key elements is zoning, municipalities will be required to review zoning ordinances and update them to comply with the plan within the next two years.
“One of the benefits associated with agreement specifies land use. There will be more scrutiny that will allow Nazareth to review the areas that are in closest proximity and review and raise questions,” said Reese.
Councilman Christopher Crook voiced that the plan gives the borough a seat at the table and allows Nazareth to make requests to neighboring municipalities.
Reese added that there will be a process in the agreement that allows Nazareth Borough to review and comment on any land development in the neighboring municipalities represented by the plan.
Council voted unanimously to adopt the Nazareth Area Multi-Municipal Plan. The next part of the process will be an Intergovernmental Cooperative Implementation Agreement. More information on NazPlan can be found on their website, nazplan.org.
After the special meeting, the Nazareth Borough Council held a workshop to discuss reports and proposed motions for their September meeting.
Jenny Swanker from the Nazareth Center for the Arts addressed the council about a mural that has been in the works after receiving three grants for it and wanted to see what was needed to move forward. Swanker added that NCA has an artist selected for the mural who has begun the design process and already ordered the panels for it, so the mural will not be directly on the building.
Councilman Carl Strye Jr. requested that council have an opportunity to see the design and approve it.
The proposed mural will go on the side of the NCA building, which is located at 30 E. Belvidere St. In conjunction with the council, NCA will also be looking into lighting for the proposed mural.
In other business, Fischl stated that he will be making a motion to hire Steven Violett as a part-time police officer upon completion of all required paperwork at the upcoming meeting.
Strye expressed that the library steam and heating system needs to be replaced. The library has requested that the council pay for a study to identify what needs to be done. Strye recommended that council pay $13,400 for the study and use rescue funds for the replacement of the heating system, which he planned to present at the September meeting.
The council announced that they will be having a household hazardous waste drop-off event on Saturday, October 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be rain or shine for Northampton County residents only and will require an online pre-registration. The drop-off will be at 3835 Green Pond Rd., Bethlehem. More information on the event, registration, and accepted items can be found on Northampton County’s website.
Nazareth Borough will also hold an electronic recycling day and shredding event on Saturday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Nazareth Borough Park.
The Borough of Nazareth announced that they are looking for a full-time clerk. Applications can be picked up at the Borough business office during regular business hours. The deadline for applications is September 23 at 4 p.m.
The next Nazareth Borough Council meeting will be held Tuesday, September 6 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers.