Comprehensive Plan of 2003

The comprehensive plan for the township was completed in 2003 with an update in 2011 to change the plan for the northern section of the township.  Below are the Introduction and Major Goal sections of the Plan.  Click here for the full document.  This plan is 72 pages long so it may take a little time to down load.



A community can only be strong and stable if it is willing to continuously improve. To continuously improve, it must accept and address change. As conditions and trends change over time, the community must be in a position to make thoughtful decisions that are framed by the changing situation.  To deal with these changes, Palmer Township needs a strategic Comprehensive Plan that addresses  the challenges and opportunities that come with growth. This Plan builds upon a history of over 50  years of community planning in the Township. This Plan is consistent with provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code that state that a municipal comprehensive plan must be updated every 10 years.


The process of updating the Comprehensive Plan followed a well-designed process to make sure that the work was completed in an efficient and timely manner. This process is illustrated with a flowchart in the Appendices.


As part of this Comprehensive Planning Program, a focus group of 30 Township officials and residents was brought together. This committee had two main tasks:

• to analyze the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) that affect Palmer

Township’s future; and

• to challenge the content of the Comprehensive Plan recommendations as they were prepared,

to make sure that the Plan addressed various viewpoints and the best thinking that could be

brought to bear.

The conclusions of this SWOT analysis are included in the Appendices of this Plan. This analysis was an integral part of the preparation of this Plan.


The members of the Palmer Township Board of Supervisors sincerely express our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the citizens who participated in the preparation of this Plan.


Interrelationships of the Plan Elements - The various elements of this Comprehensive Plan are closely inter-related. The Land Use and Housing Plan was designed to respect the natural features of different areas described in the Natural Environment section. The improvements described in the Transportation Plan section are important to support the new development projected in the Land Use and Housing Plan. The Land Use and Housing Plan proposes incentives to preserve buildings described in the Historic Preservation section. The Community Facilities and Services Plan section describes projects that are needed to support the Land Use and Housing Plan.



Palmer Township is located in the eastern portion of Northampton County, a few miles west of the New Jersey border. Two major expressways, Routes 22 and 33, pass through the Township, providing connections to Interstates 78 and 80. Palmer has an elongated shape stretching from the Lehigh River to the south towards the boroughs of Tatamy, Stockertown and Nazareth to the north.  Three major arterial roads pass through Palmer: Freemansburg Avenue, William Penn Highway,

and 25th Street/Nazareth Road/Route 248.



Major Goals

“Where There Is No Vision, the People Perish.”


The decisions we make or fail to make today will influence our lives for many years ahead.  Through this Plan, we are envisioning the type of community we want to have in the future. Then, we are deciding how to achieve this future vision - taking into consideration the resources available and the challenges and opportunities that may be encountered.




Building upon a history of over 50 years of community planning, Palmer Township will continue to emphasize well-planned growth, while carrying out the Township’s primary mission of protecting the health, safety and general welfare of our residents and persons visiting our community.




Palmer Township is a community that emphasizes balanced well-planned growth, while continually guiding changes to serve the public interest, and providing residents with a very high quality of life that is affordable.




The following goals provide overall direction for the growth and conservation of Palmer over the next decade and beyond. We must meet these goals in order to achieve the vision, as stated above.  The Plan then includes recommendations to achieve these goals, through both public, non-profit and private efforts.


• Provide highly compatible land uses, with an emphasis on protecting the livability of existing residential neighborhoods.

• Make sure that sufficient road capacity and utilities are in place before new development occurs.

• Make sure that development fully respects the natural features of each site, with special attention upon sinkhole concerns.

• Preserve lands along the Lehigh River, the Bushkill Creek, the Schoeneck Creek and other environmentally sensitive areas in permanent open space.

• Work to preserve substantial areas of open space within new development, with a special emphasis upon interconnected greenways along the Schoeneck and Bushkill Creeks.

• Provide opportunities for a variety of housing types, including encouraging neighborhoods specifically designed for older persons.

• Promote well-planned commercial uses where there is suitable road access, while avoiding strip commercial development along major roads.

• Promote light industrial, research and office development in appropriate locations to provide wider employment choices and additional tax revenues.

• Promote reuse and redevelopment of older business sites, particularly including "brownfield" industrial sites.

• Avoid allowing residential development in the northwestern part of Palmer to avoid conflicts between residential and agricultural and business uses.

• Provide high-quality community facilities and services in the most cost-efficient manner.

• Provide a wide range of recreational areas and facilities that are well-distributed throughout the Township.

• Provide a safe and efficient transportation network that is closely coordinated with the Land Use Plan.

• Encourage modes of transportation, patterns of land uses, designs of sites and other actions that conserve energy.

• Continue to stress coordination, regular communications and close cooperation with neighboring communities and County and State agencies.

• Regularly involve Palmer citizens in continuously carrying out the recommendations of this Comprehensive Plan.

Information on the Palmer Township web site is provided as a service to the community. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this site, the official documentation is maintained

by and is available from the Township Office.  Copyright 2014-2015 Palmer Township, PA. All rights reserved.