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Farmland Preservation Snapshot

RenewLV Farmland Preservation Snapshot 2016

Is development outpacing the rate of farmland preservation in the Lehigh Valley region?  The Lehigh Valley’s Comprehensive Plan, developed by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and adopted by Lehigh and Northampton Counties in 2005 states the goal of preserving approximately 25 percent of the land for agricultural purposes. How far are we to meeting the agreed upon goal?  Can we still get there?

Lehigh                                       Northampton

Total Acres                                                          222,973                                               241,438

LVPC 25% Goal                                                    55,743                                                 60,360

Total Preserved To Date                                     21,659                                                   14,291

Preserved as % of Total Acres                             9.71%                                                   5.92%

Preserved as % of Goal                                       38.85%                                                23.68%

Acres to Meet Goal                                            34,084                                                46,069

Remaining Unprotected Farmland                   54,672                                                  46,379

Approximate # of Acres Preserved/Year              375                                                      800

# Acres Developed/Year (estimate)                   1,500                                                   1,500

Cost/Acre of County Easements                       $4,000                                                $5,000




2012 Pennsylvania Census of Agriculture

Northampton County Farmland Preservation Office

Lehigh County Bureau of Agricultural Land Preservation

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Like urban planning books? Join the Smart Growth Discussion Book Club

Do you have opinions about urbanism, smart growth and public policy that supports sustainability and equity? We gather regularly to discuss relevant community issues at the Coffee House Without Limits in Allentown! Come make friends, drink coffee and explore ideas that will improve our communities such as: zoning, gentrification, air quality and more.

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Make friends, discuss civic activism, new urbanism, smart growth, making a difference, and anything on your mind about your neighborhood or regional growth. Come make your voice heard!

If you are reading a really interesting book and want to propose it for future discussions please contact us:

The Coffee House Without Limits in Allentown!

Moving Ideas to Action

4th Annual Summit for Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities
"Our Towns, Our Farms, Our Future"

Mark your calendars for an exciting and inspiring full day conference on 12/09/16. Our 4th Annual Summit for Smart Growth will focus on social entrepreneurship. Come hear Kevin Jones of
SoCap and Ben Price of CELDF.

Last year on December 4th 2015, almost 200 community leaders and concerned citizens gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in Allentown for RenewLV's third annual Summit for Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities to discuss strategies for land preservation, community revitalization and municipal cooperation.

At last year's Summit, we asked the questions:

•How can we preserve open space while supporting job creation and economic development?

•How does a municipality strike a balance between paying its bills, preserving its individual appeal and supporting the local economy?

•Given the increasing market demand for locally grown and organic food, how can the region better grow a vibrant local food economy?

•How do we capitalize on our central location through an interconnected mass transit system rather than continuing to focus on widening our highways?

A big thank-you to all of the Summit for Smart Growth sponsors who contributed to last year's discussion! You made this event possible!

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Report Highlights Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Renew Lehigh Valley has often noted the benefits of smart growth development for municipalities, including cost savings. A new report by Smart Growth America details the benefits for municipalities realized through smart growth development. Read the full report here.

Watch the Envision Lehigh Valley Virtual Meeting

RenewLV and our partners at the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, the City of Allentown, the City of Bethlehem, and the City of Easton held a one-of-a-kind virtual public meeting for Envision Lehigh Valley. 100 participants logged in through a live video feed, Facebook, Twitter, and live chat. Missed the meeting? View the full recording on YouTube here