Easton officials and community groups now have a blueprint for ways to build on the West Ward’s assets and address its challenges.
City council is scheduled to vote Wednesday night on formal adoption of the West Ward Neighborhood Plan. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and is being held at College Hill Presbyterian Church, 501 Brodhead St.
The Greater Easton Development Partnership had the plan created by Chicago-based Camiros Ltd., with $60,000 in grant funds from Northampton County and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
“This is not a plan that is completely new,” GEDP Executive Director Jared Mast told council during a presentation on the plan March 13, following Mayor Sal Panto Jr.’s “State of the City” address. “There are some elements that are just reaffirming good things that both the mayor presented on but also things that have been in previous plans.
“There’s a lot of exciting things in here but there will also be some things where you nod your head and say, yeah we still need to do that.”
Council in March delayed adoption of the plan to permit time to review it.
The planning effort began in May 2018 with interviews, walking the streets and identifying assets and challenges, said consultant Adam Rosa.
“I really fell in love with the West Ward, in particular, just the diversity, United Nations feel of the community, the walkability, the urbanism,” said Rosa, who had never before been to Easton. “It just has so much soul, so much character and there’s so many cities and communities that I work in that are just lacking that.”
The plan outlines improvements that could be pursued with grant opportunities, such as transforming the parking lot of the former St. Anthony’s parish school at Ninth and Washington streets into a public square.
The plan defines the West Ward as Easton from Sixth to 15th streets, and between Bushkill Creek and the Lehigh River.
Here is the full plan, available here if it is not displaying properly below:
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