Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

RESOURCES

Glossary

ACCESS MANAGEMENT

The process that provides (or manages) access to land development while simultaneously preserving the flow of traffic on the surrounding road system in terms of safety, capacity, and speed.

 

AGRICULTURAL EASEMENT

An agricultural conservation easement (referred to as an agricultural easement in this plan) is a legally binding document that restricts the use of land to agricultural purposes for which compensation is paid. Compensation is the value of the development rights, or the difference between the market value and an agricultural value of the subject farm. Landowners retain all other rights and privileges of the private land ownership. The conservation easement runs with the land and legally binds future owners to the easement provisions.

 

AGRICULTURAL SECURITY AREAS

Areas established pursuant to the Agricultural Area Security Act, which gives special consideration to farmers who voluntarily participate in a local Agricultural Security Area or “District”. An Agricultural Security Area is defined as a unit of 500 or more acres of land used for agricultural production. The parcels do not have to be adjacent to each other or in the same municipality. The Act prohibits local and state government from imposing laws and regulations which impede farm operations. Land in Agricultural Security Areas is eligible for preservation using funding from Act 149.

 

ALLUVIAL SOILS

Soils that have been deposited by flood waters.

 

ARTERIAL ROAD

A road serving a large volume of comparatively high-speed and long-distance traffic. The primary function of an arterial road is to provide for through-traffic movement, linking collector roads with highways. The provision of access to abutting properties is a secondary function.

 

CARBONATE GEOLOGY

Limestone or dolomite rock formations formed by carbonate sedimentation in shallow sea waters.

 

CEDS

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. A report required by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for infrastructure improvement grants for economic development projects in the Lehigh Valley.

 

CENTRAL SEWAGE SYSTEM

A publicly or privately-owned system of piping, tanks, pumping facilities and treatment works which provides for collection, conveyance and treatment of sewage or process wastewater designed primarily to serve a single subdivision, land development or rural public use involving two or more lots or domestic sewage disposal in excess of one EDU on a single lot.

 

CENTRAL WATER SYSTEM

A publicly or privately-owned system of piping, tanks, pumping facilities and treatment works for the treatment and distribution of drinking water designed primarily to serve a single subdivision, land development or rural public use involving two or more lots or domestic water use in excess of one EDU on a single lot.

 

COLLECTOR ROAD

A road which balances the functions of providing access to abutting properties and providing for through-traffic movement. Collector roads link local streets with the network of arterial roads and highways.

 

COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEM

A system of piping, tanks, pumping facilities and treatment works which provides for treatment and distribution of drinking water serving a generalized service area and designed independently of specific land developments or subdivisions.

 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

A long-range plan intended to guide the growth and development of a community or region, prepared in accord with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. At a minimum the plan includes: 1) a statement of objectives regarding future development, 2) a land use plan, 3) a housing plan, 4) a plan for the movements of people and goods, 5) a community facilities and utilities plan, 6) a statement of the relationship of the plan to contiguous municipalities.

 

CONGESTION.

In the Lehigh Valley congestion is defined as level of service “D” or worse. Level of service describes driver comfort and ease of maneuvering in traffic and by the ratio of traffic volume to road capacity. It ranges from A (best) to F (worst). LOS D is the level at which speeds begin to decline slightly with increasing flows. Freedom to maneuver within the traffic stream is noticeably limited, and the driver experiences reduced comfort levels. Even minor incidents can be expected to create queueing, because the traffic stream has little space to absorb disruptions. Level of service D volume/capacity (V/C) ratios range between .81 and .91.

 

CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT.

A residential development in a rural area that is characterized by clustered compact lots and common open space, and where agriculture and/or natural resources are protected in the design and construction of the development.

 

COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

A land use and growth management plan prepared by the county planning commission and adopted by the county commissioners which establishes broad goals and criteria for municipalities to use in preparation of their comprehensive plan and land use regulation.

 

DEP

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

 

DRBC

The Delaware River Basin Commission. An organization created by the federal government for the purpose of managing water resources in the Delaware River watershed.

 

EFFECTIVE AGRICULTURAL ZONING

Zoning which prevents the extensive or widespread conversion of farmland to non-agriculturally oriented development including, but not limited to, housing, commercial, employment and institutional uses.

 

FLOODWAY

The watercourse channel and adjacent land areas in the 100-year floodplain which must be reserved to carry the base flood without cumulatively increasing the base flood elevation more than a designated height. One foot is the maximum increase allowed by the National Flood Insurance Program.

 

FLOODWAY FRINGE

The part of the 100-year floodplain that lies outside of the floodway.

 

HYDRIC SOILS.

Hydric soils are soils that formed under conditions of saturation, flooding, or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part of the soil.

 

IMPORTANT WOODLANDS

Woodlands of unique scenic, historic, geologic or ecologic significance or large contiguous tracts of forest land.

 

INDUSTRIAL WASTE

Any liquid, gaseous, radioactive, solid or other substance which is not sewage resulting from manufacturing or industry or other plant or works. The term shall include all such substances whether or not generally characterized as waste.

 

INFILL

The continued development of vacant or underutilized properties in urban or development districts that can be supported by existing infrastructure and which is compatible with adjacent intensive land uses.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

The basic facilities, equipment, services and installations needed to support the growth and functioning of an urban area or developing community. Infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, roads, sanitary sewers and water supply systems.

 

LANTA

Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority. The public transit organization that serves Lehigh and Northampton counties.

 

LEHIGH VALLEY

An area composed of Lehigh and Northampton counties, Pennsylvania.

 

LOCAL/CLOSE-TO-HOME SPACE

Outdoor recreation areas including mini-parks, neighborhood parks/playgrounds, and community parks. Local/close-to-home space may include areas suited for intense recreation facilities such as game fields or passive recreation activities.

 

LNAA

Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority. The organization that operates the Lehigh Valley International Airport.

 

LVEDC

Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. The economic development organization that serves Lehigh and Northampton counties.

 

LVPC

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. The official planning commission for Lehigh County and Northampton County and the regional planning commission for the Lehigh Valley.

 

LVTS

Lehigh Valley Transportation Study. An organizational partnership between PENNDOT, Lehigh County, Northampton County, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, LANTA, LNAA for the purpose of planning and programming transportation facilities in the Lehigh Valley.

 

MAJOR INSTITUTIONS AND EMPLOYMENT CENTERS

Facilities designed to serve and draw from regional and interregional areas rather than close-by local areas.

 

MOBILE SOURCE EMISSIONS

Tailpipe exhaust from any motor vehicle commonly used for street or highway travel.

 

MPC

The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. A Pennsylvania law governing planning, zoning, subdivision regulations and other matters related to the creation and implementation of community plans by municipalities and counties in Pennsylvania.

 

MULTIMUNICIPAL PLAN

A plan developed and adopted by any number of contiguous municipalities, including a joint municipal plan as authorized by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

 

MUNICIPAL WASTE

Waste including garbage, refuse, industrial lunchroom or office waste and other material including solid, liquid, semi-solid or contained gaseous material resulting from operation of residential, municipal, commercial or institutional establishments, and from community activities and any sludge not defined as residual or hazardous waste from a municipal, commercial or institutional water supply treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant or air pollution control facility. The term does not include source-separated recyclable materials. Municipal waste does not include residue from a municipal waste incineration facility or infectious or chemotherapeutic waste.

 

ON-LOT SEWAGE SYSTEM

A system of piping, tanks or other facilities serving a single lot and collecting and disposing of sewage in whole or in part into the soil or into any waters of the Commonwealth or by means of non-fixed pipe conveyance to another site for final disposal.

 

OPEN SPACE

Any land or area, the preservation of which in its present use would: (1) conserve and enhance natural or scenic resources including farmland; or (2) protect streams or water supply; or (3) promote conservation of soils, wetlands, beaches, or tidal marshes; or (4) enhance the value to the public of abutting or neighboring parks, forests, wildlife preserves, nature reservations, or sanctuaries; or (5) enhance recreation opportunities.

 

PARATRANSIT

Any form of public transportation which is distinct from conventional urban or interregional fixed-route transit service.

 

PENNDOT

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

 

POINT SOURCE EMISSIONS

Air pollution originating from stationary sources such as factories or power plants.

 

PRIME AGRICULTURAL LAND

Land used for agricultural purposes that contains soils of the first, second, or third class as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource and Conservation Services county soil survey.

 

PUBLIC SEWAGE SYSTEM

A system of publicly-owned piping, tanks, pumping facilities and treatment works which provides for collection, conveyance and treatment of sewage and process wastewater serving a generalized service area and designed independently of specific land developments or subdivisions.

 

REGIONAL SPACE

Outdoor natural recreation facilities including regional/metropolitan parks and regional park reserves. Regional spaces are generally at least 200 acres in size and may include active play areas and lands reserved for conservation and natural resource management.

 

RELIEF INTERCEPTOR

Fixed-pipe sewage conveyance facilities, whether gravity or pressure flow, which provide additional capacity where existing facilities have inadequate capacity for existing or future flows.

 

RURAL

A sparsely developed area where the land is primarily used for farming, forestry, resource extraction, very low-density residential uses or open space uses.

 

SEDIMENT

Mineral or organic matter moved by wind, water or gravity which is suspended in water.

 

SIGNIFICANT WETLANDS

Wetlands which perform one or more of the following: 1) serve important natural biological functions, 2) have been set aside for study or as sanctuaries or refuges, 3) would negatively affect natural drainage, sedimentation or other environmental characteristics if destroyed, 4) shield other areas from erosion or storm damage, 5) provide storage areas for storm or floodwaters, 6) provide prime natural groundwater recharge areas.

 

SMART GROWTH

A perspective, method, and goal for managing the growth of a community. It focuses on the long-term implications of growth and how it may affect the community, instead of viewing growth as an end in itself. The community can vary in size; it may be as small as a city block or a neighborhood, or as large as a city, a metropolitan area, or a region. It is designed to create livable cities, promote economic development, and protect open spaces, environmentally sensitive areas, and agricultural lands. It promotes compact building forms, infill development, reduced land consumption, mixed uses, variety in housing types, use of existing infrastructure, walking, cycling and transit.

 

SPRAWL

A haphazard and disorderly form of urban development with the following characteristics: residences far removed from stores, parks, and other activity centers; scattered or “leapfrog” development that leaves large tracts of undeveloped land between developments; commercial strip development along major streets; large expanses of low-density or single-use development; major form of transportation is the automobile.

 

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT

Any stormwater management technique, apparatus, or facility that controls or manages the path, storage, or rate of release of stormwater runoff. Such facilities may include storm sewers, retention or detention basins, drainage channels, drainage swales, inlet or outlet structures, or other similar facilities.

 

STRIP DEVELOPMENT

A form of development characterized by the following: (1) the primary uses are commercial or retail in nature; (2) the development site takes direct access from an arterial or collector road; (3) the site contains parking located above ground level and lying between the accessed roadway and the primary buildings; and (4) the site is characterized by substantial frontage along the road or roads from which it takes primary or secondary access, or by numerous access points along a roadway serving primarily retail or commercial uses.

 

SUBURBAN

Low- to medium-development patterns that surround the urban areas of a city. The suburbs are often residential in character with single-family detached houses as the primary use of land. Increasingly, the suburbs contain employment and service centers as well as residential areas. The automobile historically determines the form of the suburbs.

 

TRANSFERABLE DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS

The attaching of development rights to specified lands which are desired by a municipality to be kept undeveloped, but permitting those rights to be transferred from those lands so that the development potential which they represent may occur on other lands where more intensive

development is deemed to be appropriate.

 

URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Residential, commercial, industrial, institutional or other development which produces process wastes or sewage in excess of one equivalent dwelling unit per acre, or which, by its nature and size, does not require a rural location or is designed to mainly serve a widespread or urban area.

 

WELLHEAD PROTECTION

A strategy for preventing the contamination of groundwater sources of water supply involving land use controls, contaminant management practices and local planning and monitoring initiatives.

 

WETLAND

Lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. For purposes of this definition, wetlands must have the following three attributes: (a) have a predominance of hydric soils; (b) are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions; and (c) under normal circumstances support a prevalence of such vegetation.

 

 

 

 

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

961 Marcon Boulevard - Suite 310

Allentown, PA 18109

Phone: (610) 264-4544

Toll Free: (888) 627-8808

Fax: (610) 264-2616