Comprehensive Planning 101

The Borough of Lansdowne is kickstarting a Comprehensive Planning Process beginning early 2022. 


A Comprehensive Plan is an overall guide for the development and conservation of the Borough over the next 10 to 15 years. While creating a new Comprehensive Plan is not a regulation by itself, it is intended to provide the rationale for updates to zoning regulations that will allow future improvements to the Borough, including improved transportation, more access to housing, better community facilities, and environmental resilience. Lansdowne’s last comprehensive plan was completed in 2005. 


Why is Lansdowne Borough preparing a new Comprehensive Plan?


It’s time for Lansdowne to meet the challenges of the moment head on. Lansdowne is due for a Comprehensive Plan to evaluate the character of our Borough and shape growth for a resilient and inclusive future. This is an opportunity for the Borough to identify goals related to economic development, housing, transportation, open space, environmental resilience and more. Whether you are passionate about supporting small businesses or concerned about traffic safety, the Comprehensive Plan is an opportunity to have a say in the preservation of the borough’s strengths while addressing new and future challenges. 


Why does this matter? 


Zoning primarily manages where different types of housing and businesses are allowed (or not allowed) throughout the Borough. Creating a Comprehensive Plan allows our community to be proactive around long term trends while identifying the factors influencing and shaping the Borough.


The Comprehensive Plan has the potential to improve many aspects of the community, including the following key challenges: 


  • Addressing land uses in coordination with transportation issues, to avoid future traffic problems
  • Avoiding conflicts between different types of development, such as not allowing intense business uses adjacent to a residential neighborhood
  • Considering development policies in a comprehensive and coordinated manner for an entire area, as opposed to piecemeal review of individual parcels or lots
  • Recommending ways that natural features should be preserved and conserved
  • Recommending partnerships and programs to stimulate local jobs and businesses
  • Ensuring Housing needs are met so both owners and renters can live prosperously in high quality housing
  • Identifying and addressing social and economic inequities in Lansdowne’s built environment.  


What does the Plan seek to address?


The Comprehensive Plan includes background information about the existing conditions of our borough, as well as major trends over the past 15 years. The plan will visualize the current conditions with maps and will conclude by laying out a set of recommended policies for the future based on the findings of the current conditions. 


The Comprehensive Plan primarily addresses: 1) Land Use and Housing, 2) Transportation, 3) Community Facilities and Services (such as parks), 4) Historic Preservation, 5) Economic Development, 6) Natural Feature Conservation and Sustainability, and 7) Ways to Carry Out the Plan.



What is the Timeline for a Comprehensive Planning Process?


Comprehensive Planning processes take one year to complete. Public Involvement and Engagement will take place throughout the duration of the process. The engagement portion of the process will carry from December 2021 to October 2022. 


Why do we need your help? 


As Lansdowne residents, you are the experts and it's important we hear from as many voices as possible. The Comprehensive Plan process includes an extensive public involvement program. There will be a set of public meetings, as well as opportunities for input at neighborhood pop-ups. An online survey will be distributed using In addition, a Steering Committee has been formed by the Borough to hold monthly meetings on the Plan, which will be open to the public. We need your input to make sure we are properly identifying the opportunities and challenges facing Lansdowne Borough!


Who is involved?


After a competitive process, the Borough has chosen Urban Research and Development Corporation of Bethlehem to guide the overall process. The public engagement program is being led by women-owned local engagement firm Connect the Dots. The bulk of the plan will be written by a steering committee made up of pre-identified Lansdowne leaders.