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Lehigh Valley Local News

River Pointe project inconsistent with FutureLV plans

UMBT Aerial (with property outl
River Point Commerce Park website
The proposed River Pointe Commerce Park in Upper Mount Bethel Township is outlined in red.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Plans for the massive River Pointe Logistics Industrial Park Development Project in Upper Mount Bethel Township are inconsistent with those of FutureLV.

Such was the determination by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission during its Comprehensive Planning Committee meeting on Thursday.

  • Plans for a proposed industrial park in Upper Mount Bethel Township clash with the region's vision for the future
  • The issues center on increased traffic, water and sewage and environmental concerns
  • The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission noted the inconsistencies in a letter to Upper Mount Bethel Township

FutureLV is the LVPC’s blueprint that establishes goals, policies and actions designed to guide the region through 2045 and beyond.
River Pointe is a 12-warehouse-sized development covering more than 6,000,000 square feet along the Delaware River and near the Portland-Columbia Roll Bridge.

The inconsistencies with FutureLV include issues regarding increased truck and pedestrian-vehicle traffic, public wastewater treatment, water and sewage service, emergency services and environmental impact.

"But in totality, (the River Pointe plan) is inconsistent with FutureLV plans.”
Becky A. Bradley, executive director of Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

After noting inconsistencies while reviewing River Pointe plans for Lots 1, 2, and 6, the commission unanimously voted to include its findings in a review letter to Upper Mount Bethel Township.

“Our task is to view the plan for consistency,” said Attorney Charles W. Elliott, a commission member from Northampton County.

“Given some of the issues, I wonder if the policy is consistent with FutureLV. We’ve identified issues, statements and plans that are not consistent with FutureLV.”

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Elliott said the letter to Upper Mount Bethel Township should note that the River Pointe plans must be consistent to align with FutureLV policies.

Becky A. Bradley, LVPC executive director, added: “There are places where there is some consistency. But in totality, it is inconsistent with FutureLV plans.”

Commission member Richard D. Molchany expressed concern over the impact deforestation of the River Pointe parcel would have on residents.

“All the green I see on the map is going to change, and air quality is going to be affected.”
Richard D. Molchany, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

“Can we strongly suggest that when they review the plans locally, there is a pre- and post-metric to require environmental mitigation,” Molchany said. “All the green I see on the map is going to change, and air quality is going to be affected.”

According to the American Lung Association’s 2023 State of the Air report, the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan statistical area currently ranks 65th among 384 similar areas nationally in air pollution.

“This is a substantial project with still a lot of points that need to be addressed,” LVPC Chairman Steve Glickman said.

Covering Lehigh and Northampton counties, FutureLV is among the first comprehensive plans in the nation that merges the land use, economic, environmental, housing, preservation and farming policies with the transportation planning and investment policies of the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study.