Comprehensive Plan

Bethlehem's Comprehensive Plan charts how to develop and preserve the City over the next decade.

It provides the rationale for updating the City's Zoning Ordinance and for updating other City regulations that affect future growth.


Bethlehem's new comprehensive plan charts a course for the future. The plan describes how Bethlehem should continue developing over the next decade. The plan also highlights what should not change - those community features the City should strive to preserve. A TIMELY UPDATE Bethlehem last updated its citywide comprehensive plan in 1991. At that time, Bethlehem Steel was the City's largest employer and landowner. Since Bethlehem Steel closed in 1998, the City has attracted millions of dollars of commercial and residential development. Bethlehem was a recent Money Magazine choice for one of America's most livable cities. Today, the former Bethlehem Steel site is home to a prosperous business park with construction underway or planned for a variety of other uses. Numerous adaptive reuse projects have brought new life to both the City's North Side and South Side downtown business areas. New housing, new cultural attractions and growth
of the City's major educational institutions continue to reshape Bethlehem.
The next steps in Bethlehem's growth promise to attract more new people and new investment to Bethlehem. The City looks to its updated comprehensive plan to help guide this ongoing renaissance.


This comprehensive plan is citywide in scope. It tackles a variety of subjects and ties together several recent plans the City prepared about different topics and different parts of the City:
  • South Side Master Plan
  • South Side Greenway Plan
  • South Side Vision 2012
  • Stefko Boulevard Plan
  • Elm Street Plan for North and West Side Neighborhoods
  • City of Bethlehem Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan

Comprehensive Plan - August 2009