Planning & Zoning

Bethlehem Zoning Office

Zoning Officer: Craig Peiffer

Welcome to the City of Bethlehem Zoning Office.

Zoning ls the first step in most projects within the City. Prior to new construction, locating a business, erecting a fence or sign or any other project, it is important to review the Zoning Ordinance provisions. City Council passed a new Zoning Ordinance and map in 2012 to encourage appropriate development in the city's core while maintaining developed neighborhoods and protecting environmentally-sensitive areas.

Residential: New construction, additions, fences and other residential projects require zoning approval. Your 1st step is to call (610-865-7094) or visit our Zoning Office to discuss your project with the Zoning Officer. You can visit the Code Enforcement page to obtain the required permit application.

Commercial: Whether you are considering leasing or purchasing a business, you will be required to obtain a Commercial Certificate of Occupancy. Our permit process has been stream-lined to ensure efficient review by all of our departments. Your first step is to call or visit our Zoning Office to discuss your project with the Zoning Officer at 6l0-865-7094. You can obtain the application online or in the office.

Zoning Hearing Board: Some matters brought to the Zoning Office require an appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. The purpose of the Zoning Hearing Board is to help assure a fair and equitable application of the Zoning Ordinance by hearing appeals to the Zoning Officer's decisions and, where appropriate, granting relief from the literal enforcement of the Ordinance. The Board hears all requests for variances and special exceptions. To request an appeal in front of the Zoning Hearing Board, submit the application to the Zoning Officer as indicated on the form. The Zoning Officer schedules hearings for all appeals and any applicant should discuss an appeal with the Zoning Officer before formally submitting an appeal. The accompanying fee must be submitted with the application to obtain a hearing. The cost of the hearing is as follows:

The fee schedule is as follows:

Appeals for dimensional variances for single family residences occupied by the owner:
Continuation of hearings as stipulated above
All other appeals
Continuation of appeal as stipulated above
Additional hearings necessary for testimony. If a case is lengthy and requires an additional hearing(s), the Applicant shall pay an additional fee per additional hearing.
Curative Amendment / Validity Challenge
Zoning Certifications

Transcripts of any hearing are available by contacting the Court Reporter, Jean Genova, at 610-829-6739. The fees charged for the transcription and copy are per the fee agreement.

View Current Zoning Map

Download Zoning Ordinances [pdf]