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19 comments on “Review Draft Plan Elements

  1. Dr Suzanne E. Webster Roberson

    One crucial thing that should be thought about throughout this planning process is the immense amount of light pollution that could be engendered by all the new development. Light pollution is on a par with the destruction of waterways and viewsheds, etc., and it should be curtailed through considered planning and strict regulation. (A sad example of the consequences of not considering this matter has been unfolding in Downingtown and Exton for the past decade.) Children should not have to grow up without ever being able to properly see the moon and stars.

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  2. Thomas Shar

    I attended the April 10, 2018 meeting, and I think it was a success. Turning to water resources, in 2002 the County issued a study ” Watersheds. ” Has the County evaluated whether it met the objectives in ” Watersheds ” ? If objectives were not achieved, how can improvements be made? Also, will this study be updated and used to guide the planning process for Landscapes3?

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    • Chesco Planning Post author

      Thanks for attending the meeting and we’re glad to hear you felt it was a success. We were pleased with the attendance and level of engagement. Regarding Watersheds, we are currently discussing including a recommendation in Landscapes3 to update the existing Watersheds plan. Watersheds has 7 goals and 40 objectives. Progress has been made, although there is always more to be done. On water quality, the county tracks a stream health metric that over the past several years has been showing overall improvement across the county’s streams, even with increased water quality challenges from various widespread pollutant sources. An update to Watersheds would provide an opportunity to update the science on which the plan is based, update the plan for current conditions and growth trends, and include opportunities for public involvement.

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  3. Mark Cassel

    Not sure that I understand all the decisions made on the various map changes. For example, there were portions of West Goshen that were taken out of the Urban area, even though the density is greater than portions of Phoenixville in the “thumb” that hardly meet the definitions of urban but remain in the Urban area.

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    • Chesco Planning Post author

      Thanks for your review of the maps and comment. As with Landscapes2, it is a policy decision to include all of our boroughs and the city of Coatesville within the Urban designation. This designation is tied to various county programs that we feel are important to open to the entirety of the boroughs and city. On the draft Landscapes3 map there are areas proposed to be designated as Suburban Center in the townships that may have been designated as Urban in Landscapes2. This is typically reflective of a more auto-oriented landscape that lacks a grid system of streets. Transportation options within both the Urban and Suburban Center designations are a priority. Population density is one consideration for the map designations, along with other considerations such as the type of uses, mix of uses, intensity of development, transportation infrastructure, preserved lands, and local plans and ordinances.

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  4. Tony Buck

    The future of farming is the small multi-crop, multi-product family farm between 5 – 10 acres. The hardest entry into this is land cost. Please find ways to help our county facilitate young farmers to get use of the land they need to relocalize our food system. Let’s ask the question: Can Chester County feed itself? What an economic development tool this would be for our region, not to mention some farm to table food security and fresher food locally. We have the soil, climate, knowledge and water to do it.

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    • Chesco Planning Post author

      Thanks for commenting. We’ve heard repeatedly throughout our process regarding the challenge of land access for agriculture, and are considering ways to tackle this issue. Information on an existing statewide program to connect farmers to land can be found at http://www.pafarmlink.org.

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  5. Aus Marburger

    To: Chester County Planning Commission
    Re: Comments On Landscapes 3

    Having attended the public meeting on March 6th and having reviewed your work product, I believe there is much to gain with a higher priority and greater emphasis on sustainable agriculture in the plan and on the map.

    The reasons are almost infinite. Nothing is more fundamental to quality of life and preservation of character of place than sustainable agriculture. Health is at the core of quality of life and is best supported by local nutrient rich dietary options. Farm land, productive open space, is less prone to future development. Farm land is the epitome of preservation. It is open space that is both beneficially employed and economically viable, while providing food security in a symbiotic community with town centers.

    The big picture, CHESTER COUNTY, a health conscious food mecca! It may be Napa for wine, but when it comes to unparalleled farm to table, it is Chester County, hands down. This vision, as a primary goal, is spirited enough to be the branding that cohesively unifies the comprehensive plan.

    Things to consider:
    Supportive soils and climate
    Heritage:
    Rodale, to the North, the home of the US organic movement
    Waldorf and Camphill, biodynamic farming and homeopathy centers
    Lundale Farm, experimental land use and preservation
    King-Ranch, grass fed
    Longwood Gardens, nationally cherished arboretum
    Opportunity: Chester County has the assets, the proximity to urban centers, and the educated consumers to support this vision

    Talking Points, Objectives:
    Town/Urban centers include markets; access, help local farmers thrive
    Policies that assist incubator, smaller family, farms without subdivision
    Bring emphasis to farming careers through education and promotion
    Community based Agri’culture’ in difference to Agri’business’
    Less mono-cropping, non GMO, pesticide, herbicide, hormone and antibiotic free
    Soil health paramount as a living biome; preserving watersheds
    Penn’s Woods and the Brandywine Valley at its Best!

    Reply
    • Chesco Planning Post author

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, and for your attendance at our public meeting on March 6th. We agree that Chester County is very fortunate with respect to our soils and existing farms and related businesses. Agriculture will be addressed throughout our plan, as it has implications across a variety of areas – land use, economic development, cultural heritage, and more.

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  6. Diane LeBold

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. A few thoughts:
    In the “Live” section: While I appreciate the county’s goal to ensure diverse housing, I’d like to know how we plan to go about achieving that goal in a real estate market driven by significant profit opportunities. Same with the goal for improved mass transit: How does the county anticipate achieving this, when PennDOT and SEPTA have the final say? And, finally, in the “Prosper” section, exactly how does the county plan to support workforce development? Like the others, it’s a great goal, but doesn’t mean much without a concrete plan for making it happen.

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    • Chesco Planning Post author

      Thanks for your comments. You correctly identify that the county does not fully control all aspects of these areas, but by working with partners and supporting our municipalities we can have a positive impact. Setting our vision through the comprehensive plan is a first step in ensuring that our partners and municipalities understand our priorities, and in advancing new programs or refocusing existing programs to achieve that vision. We are currently working to develop recommendations, which will address the details of how to implement the vision. Those recommendations will be available for public and municipal review and comment later this year. The Chester County Workforce Development Board is the local entity responsible for the strategic planning and promotion of an effective workforce development system in the county, and you can find more information on their programs here: http://www.chesco.org/159/Workforce-Development-Board.

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  7. Ted Trevorrow

    Excellent process. Please consider light pollution as you develop goals, standards and plans. http://www.darksky.org/ is an excellent source of information for communities trying to minimize the environmental impact of light pollution.

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  8. Anthony Vietri

    Wonderful to have been a small part of this, and see it coming to fruition. Thank you for inviting public comment.
    We respectfully request that highly sensitive areas legally identified as members of the Agricultural Security District, and the Conservation Easements, please be noted on your maps for New Garden Township.
    These areas are places that our community has specifically decided are important to us.
    The key point of such designations and contracts is to ensure future agricultural use.
    As these maps represent our community’s future, such areas of importance should rightly be included.

    Reply
    • Chesco Planning Post author

      Thanks for your comment. We agree that agricultural areas and land under conservation easement are important considerations when mapping the county, and that supporting the continuation of agriculture in the county is vital. Landscapes3 will include mapping beyond the Landscapes map currently out for public comment – please look for that mapping as part of plan recommendations later this year.

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      • Hugh Purnell Jr

        Having lived thru the expansion of the County from 175,000 population to the current 500,000+,
        I feel more emphasis should be placed on preservation of the historical nature and buildings of the County. That includes historical vistas, buildings, and assistance to the individual municipalities in doing that by grants (state and County) and by education of developers and township authorities.
        Too many 1700/1800 buildings have been allowed to be torn down or just neglected until they fall down, destroying our heritage.

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        • Chesco Planning Post author

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’ve heard repeatedly during our process about the value of the county’s historic buildings and landscapes, and agree that action is needed in multiple areas. Historic resources are addressed most prominently in the Appreciate goal area, but also touched on elsewhere.

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