Allentown master plan to be updated

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Main Street, in Allentown. 5/15 - jw

By Andrew Martins
Staff Writer

ALLENTOWN – An ordinance authorizing a $25,000 emergency appropriation that will be used to hire professional consultants who will prepare a master plan update was adopted by the Borough Council on June 14.

A master plan is a series of documents that contains the land use regulations that frame a community’s growth and development.

Allentown’s master plan has undergone some changes since it was drafted in 1978. That being said, Mayor Gregory Westfall, who took office in January, said during a recent meeting that the document must reflect the borough in 2016.

“Our goal is to get things cleaned up (in the master plan) and up to date in terms of demographics,” he said.

According to the ordinance, the emergency appropriation will be financed in future budgets, with at least 20 percent of the cost to be included each year.

Westfall said he wants to include municipal departments and local business operators in the process.

“This is going to be a group effort … This is our master plan. It isn’t just this council’s (plan) or just the Planning Board’s (plan),” he said. “We want it to reflect what the community’s values are.”

Westfall said he hopes to address Allentown’s traffic and parking situation in a bid to boost the downtown area.

“I hope to work with the Economic Development Committee, as well as local businesses, to learn what the current and anticipated parking needs are,” he  said. “Rather than being reactive all the time on things, let’s get proactive.”