and Conservation Districts
There are three special districts n the City of Bethlehem
where a Certificate of Appropriateness is required prior to
issuance of a building permit. These districts include areas
of the central business districts found on each side of the
Lehigh River and the Mount Airy Neighborhood in West Bethlehem.
North of the Lehigh River, the Historic and Architectural
Review Board (HARB) reviews all exterior changes proposed
to buildings in the Bethlehem Historic District. (See
map [PDF] )The Design Guidelines for this district are
also available online. The HARB meets once per month on
the first Wednesday of every month at 4:00 PM in Town Hall.
Complete applications received by noon on the last Wednesday
of the month will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.
Applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness can be obtained
by contacting the Bureau of Code Enforcement or can
be downloaded online.
The Historic Commission is a separate historic review board
that reviews modifications to the exterior of buildings in
both the South Bethlehem Historic Conservation District and
the Mount Airy Neighborhood District on the West Side. The
Commission meets on the third Monday of every month at 7:00
PM in the Risbon Room of the Banana Factory. Completed applications
are due the Monday before the meeting. The same
application is used for the Historic Commission as for
the HARB. Design Guidelines are also available for
the South Side, along with Sign
Ultimately, the historic review boards are recommending bodies.
They forward a recommendation to City Council and Council
either issues or denies a Certificate of Appropriateness for
the proposed revisions. Once a Certificate of Appropriateness
is approved, a building permit can be issued for a construction
project provided that all other conditions are met.
High Quality Map
High Quality Map
GUIDELINES FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Bethlehem has also recently created a set of Guidelines for
Sustainability. There Guidelines are written more broadly
and can easily be utilized by owners of older homes throughout
the City, not just in historic districts. These Guidelines
address “green preservation” issues in addition
to typical home maintenance and preservation issues. Topics
include renewable energy sources, energy efficiency improvements,
repair vs. replacement of doors and windows, heating/cooling,
landscaping, etc. and are