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Date June 2019
Client Lehigh Valley Planning Commission
Length 45 Pages

Reactivation Plan

Northampton County Blight Reversal & Remediation Plan

Plan to address problem properties in county with urban, rural and suburban communities.

Northampton County contains more than 3,500 blighted properties, or 4.4 percent of all properties, posing a significant economic challenge for the area. The county has 21 boroughs and cities, 7 suburban townships, and 10 rural townships, but the form and prevalence of blight varies widely across these communities. Just as importantly, local government staffing, financial resources, and expectations for public services vary widely. To be successful, approaches to reducing blight must account for such differences.

The Northampton County Department of Community and Economic Development and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission recognized a need for an approach to blight reduction that was both countywide, and reflective of local conditions, resources and priorities. The goal of this Blight Reversal & Remediation Plan, prepared in partnership with the Reinvestment Fund, is to reduce blight, improve quality of life, and promote sustainable economic activity for Northampton County.

This plan provides a detailed analysis of problem properties throughout the county and the varying markets in which they exist. The plan then provides a set of tools, authorized under state law, that municipalities should consider with model ordinances, forms and other information to help municipalities with limited capacity put the plan into action. There is an online toolkit that serves as a peer-to-peer learning center where municipalities can share their ordinances, documents and experiences with various blight-related tools. The resources are organized into four sections:

  1. Reports and Studies
  2. Pennsylvania Laws
  3. Local Ordinances
  4. State Funding Tools

Appendix A provides case studies of how municipalities have successfully remediated blighted properties.