Developers and landowners file more than 400 subdivision plans a year in the Lehigh Valley and the LVPC reviews all over them, under the authority of Lehigh and Northampton counties and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. Big or small, every development plan filed in any of the region’s 62 municipalities is evaluated to determine whether it is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the region. Individual municipalities make the final decisions on whether the plans are approved, but the LVPC’s comments and recommendations from the review process help the municipality, landowner or developer to enhance or improve the plans before shovel is put to dirt.
What is a Subdivision?
A subdivision is any plan filed with a municipality that proposes to change a legal property line. The types of subdivisions can range from the simple adjustment to a legal lot line between two existing properties to the more significant division of larger parcels into multiple properties for sale to individual owners.
A subdivision or a land development plan is filed with a municipality in two phases, first as a proposal and subsequently for approval. In the proposal phase, applicants provide the project’s engineering and surveying details and documentation of key impacts (such as stormwater management or traffic impacts) of the proposal. In the approval phase, applicants submit a final plan addressing all issues raised in the proposal phase, as well as any required permits or approvals from agencies outside of the municipality. Approval by the municipality means that the development proposal can proceed to construction, if applicable.