2018 Meeting Dates
Monday, February 19th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, March 19th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, April 16th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, May 21st, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, June 18th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, July 16th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, August 20th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, September 17th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, October 15th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, November 19th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Monday, December 17th, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
2018 Open Space Advisory Board Members:
Janet Pearson, Chairperson
Laura Bocko, Vice Chairperson
Jason Albert, Secretary
Implementation Process and Protocol
Purpose and goals were determined from local public surveys and meetings, monthly ad hoc committee meetings and the high value assigned by county and state inventories, studies and plans. Priority was given to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Natural Areas Inventory for Lehigh/Northampton County – April 1999. Upper Mount Bethel has unique geology and habitat giving it twenty of the forty four National Inventory Assessment areas listed. That includes five of the top eight: Mount Bethel Fens, Mount Jack Limestone Outcrop, Delaware Water Gap, Bear Swamp, and Minsi Lake Vernal Pools.
Open Space Advisory Board works with land conservancies and trusts the finalize natural areas conservation projects. Most have county and/or state partnership funding and take time to go through the process. These organizations and county have oversight to monitor the easement agreement for their prospective program or outright authority on fee simple natural areas purchases.
All landowners transactions are voluntary and held in private until an agreement has been signed. When all documents are in order approval will be requested from supervisors at a public meeting.
Introduction to UMBT Open Space Program
By voter referendum on May 15th, 2007 Upper Mount Bethel Township residents approved an increase of one quarter of one percent on Earned Income Tax assessment, “to be used to finance the acquisition of open space; for the purpose of acquiring forest and agriculture conservation easements and for the purpose of acquiring property development rights, recreation or historic lands.”
The EIT Ordinance was passed for the purpose of preserving open space in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Open Space Lands Act (Act of January 19th, 1968 (P.L.(19670992). as amended, 32 P.S. 5001, et seq.). In compliance, with consultation from Heritage Conservancy, an Open Space Implementation Plan was developed and approved (March 2009) to amend the Recreation, Parks, and Open Space Plan (2004). In 2009, a resolution created the Open Space Advisory Board, appointing many of the ad committee members, who served changes until 2017.
Purpose and Goals (OS Implementation Plan)
Our Survey revealed that Farmland, Woodlands, Open Spaces, Scenic Views, Rural Environment, Wildlife, Wetlands, and the Delaware River were most revered by residents.
How do we define Open Space? – Land which is permanently set aside for public or private use and may be developed minimally, in order to enhance the conservation values of the land.
Protect Biodiversity and Habitat
Protect, Buffer or Connect Natural Areas
Protect a Critical Mass of Protected Farmland
Top Three Goals Are:
- Protecting contiguous tracts of land
- protecting properties with the following high priority features:
- Land on the Kittatinny Ridge
- Parcels greater than 50 acres in size
- Habitat consisting of large, unbroken wooded tracts of land
- Globally significant species
- Areas of Statewide significance
- Important Bird Areas, including raptor habitat and adjacent rest over/feeding habitat for avian and other species on an internationally recognized migration flyway corridor
- Properties with significant vernal pools
- Protecting properties with high priority features as identified by residents
- Scenic view properties, especially road frontage
- Properties adjacent to a preserved farm of other preserved property
- large farm properties – properties greater than 50 acres will have the highest priority
- Properties with historic characteristics: stone row, old farm house and barn in good repair, more than 100 year generational farms
- Properties containing natural features: wetlands, vernal pools, streams, woodlands, floodplains, etc.
The kittatinny Ridge/Blue Mountain
Significant Natural Areas