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  • Writer's pictureSusan J. Soloway

Hunterdon County Commissioners Award Bethlehem Township An EconomicDevelopment Grant

The Township of Bethlehem was recently awarded an Economic Development Grant, from the

Board of Hunterdon County Commissioners, in an amount not to exceed $13,500. The grant will be used to fund a zoning study of the Route 173 corridor that crosses through Bethlehem

Township.


The corridor section under review, has many businesses and private residences that existed

before land use ordinances were adopted that present challenges with the current municipal

master plan. Developers from ‘Heyer, Gruel & Associates’(HGA), will complete a study of the

current zoning and develop a plan with future recommendations for the corridor with the grant

funding.


Commissioner and Department of Economic Development & Tourism liaison, Susan Soloway

said, “It is our understanding that Bethlehem Township is seeking this grant funding to help

stimulate economic development activities along the Route 173 corridor. Ongoing review of the township’s existing commercial and industrial zones along this corridor will produce positive recommendations for these zoning districts. Additionally, residents and members of the public will be given an opportunity to provide comments on this project through scheduled outreach meetings."


An evaluation by HGA will include reviewing the existing conditions in the zoning districts, an

assessment of climate change related hazard vulnerabilities, and a draft ‘Land Use Plan’, with an analysis of existing zoning conditions and proposed recommendations for the Township.


Commissioner Deputy Director, Jeff Kuhl, stated, “The funding for the Bethlehem Township

Route 173 corridor study, will benefit the local community and enhance the ongoing efforts of

the county to identify and develop economic opportunities. It would be expected that the

upgrades and modifications made to this corridor, could be a significant contributor to economic growth in the region and help offset local residential taxes.”


“The township’s willingness to examine the 173 corridor to maximize the benefit for local

citizens is to be commended. This is exactly the type of project the grant program was created for, and we would love to work with other county towns to conduct similar corridor studies across Hunterdon”, added Marc Saluk, Director of the Department of Economic Development & Tourism.



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