Chester County residents and municipal officials are continuing to help county officials develop a plan for the future, known as Landscapes3, by providing input during a series of public meetings, including the most recent one on May 1.
Over 50 attendees came out to the recent meeting at Penn State Great Valley in East Whiteland to view display boards, take part in activities, listen to a presentation on the current status, and most importantly, share their comments and questions on issues to be considered in the county’s next comprehensive plan.
In-depth conversations took place at the stations for the goal areas of Preserve, Protect, Appreciate, Live, Prosper, and Connect, with many choosing to document their input on the comment boards. As has frequently been the case at the station for the proposed Landscapes map, there was extended discussion over the different landscapes categories (Urban Center, Suburban Center, Suburban, and Rural Center as Growth Areas and Rural and Agricultural as Rural Resource Areas).
The map amenities station generated requests for more amenities specifically for pedestrians and bicyclists, such as bike lanes, multi-use trails, paths, and sidewalk connections. Active recreation parks, open space parks, access to rail, re-purposed shopping centers and historic resources, and forested riparian buffers were some of the other items noted as features people would like to see in the future.
The formal presentation was conducted by Chester County Planning Commission Executive Director Brian O’Leary, who provided information on the status of plan development, highlights of key issues, information on how the draft map of growth and rural resources areas was developed, and an overview of the six goal areas, including their objectives.
A question and answer period followed the formal presentation. Attendees raised the issues of housing affordability, the need for transportation improvements, future plans for the former Bishop Tube site in East Whiteland, and restoration of rail service to West Chester. There were multiple questions related to how the impacts of climate change can be addressed at the local level, such as the implications of more severe storm events and increased flood impacts.
If you haven’t been able to attend a public meeting yet, there is one more opportunity this spring, as well as online opportunities to comment. The next Landscapes3 public meeting will be held May 16 at the Public Safety Training Campus at 137 Modena Road, Coatesville, Pa. The formal presentation will begin at 6 p.m., following 30 minutes for the open house display and activities.
On May 16 we will continue to take input on how well the goals and objectives reflect the broad, long-term desired outcomes (goals) and the more specific targets (objectives), as well as thoughts on actions to implement the goals and objectives. We will also continue taking feedback on the draft map. The draft Landscapes3 map has retained the same categories as the Landscapes2 map, but has been updated to reflect existing and planned development and preservation in our communities.
In addition to attending the upcoming public meeting, comments may be provided online.
Detailed recommendations (also referred to as actions) will be developed over the spring of 2018 and available for public review at a later date.