The City of Allentown’s “Lehigh Riverfront Master Plan” has been awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association.
The Certificate of Merit comes in the category of “Planning Excellence – Plan Other Than a Comprehensive Plan” and was awarded today at the PA Chapter Annual Conference at the Harrisburg Hilton. Mayor Ed Pawlowski accepted the honor on behalf of the city.
In remarks prepared for the nearly 300 attendees, Pawlowski said, “On behalf of City of Allentown Department of Community & Economic Development Director Sara Hailstone, Planning & Zoning Director Mike Hefele, Chief Planner Alan Salinger, Planner Mark Hartney and the rest of the staff, it is my pleasure to accept this Certificate of Merit. I also want to publically acknowledge Keith Weaver and the consulting team from EDSA of Baltimore for their fine work on the city’s Riverfront Master Plan.”
According to the letter from the PA Chapter of the APA notifying the city of the award, “The PA Chapter Awards Committee believes this work exemplifies the best and brightest in Pennsylvania Planning in 2013.
Developers hope to break ground in the spring on a proposed $285 million riverfront development of office buildings, retail shops and apartments.
The waterfront is part of the city’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone, or NIZ, where all local tax revenues except real estate can be captured by property owners to pay for building projects.
According to its website, “The PA Chapter of APA (PA APA) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization for the promotion of planning, and for professional planners and planning officials in the Commonwealth. The organization is a chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). It was created in 1985 by the consolidation of three separate chapters of the APA in Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Planning Association. Approximately 3,000 members strong, the PA Chapter of APA works to promote planning at all levels of the Commonwealth through trainings, the annual conference, legislative monitoring, and public awareness efforts.”