Planning Commission Office Status

As the County moves into the yellow phase, the Planning Commission office will be open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm, starting on Friday, June 5 for mandatory services. Please call 610-344-6285 or email the office at ccplanning@chesco.org to make an appointment for plan endorsements or plan submissions before you come in. Please note, temperature screening and security procedures will be in place for anyone entering the Government Services Building.

Staff is primarily working from home and will continue to provide services and answer questions.

To expedite the plan review submission process, visit the online portal.

Planning Commission to Conduct Monthly Meeting via ZOOM

The Chester County Planning Commission will conduct its monthly board meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 10th via ZOOM. Please visit https://zoom.us/j/91604214510  to join the webinar or telephone 1-312-626-6799 and enter Webinar ID 916 0421 4510.  We recommend beginning to log in at 1:45 in case of technical difficulties. The public is invited to join, and there will be an opportunity for public comment during the meeting. Please note that if you join by telephone you will not have the capability to comment or ask questions. You can email ccplanning@chesco.org and we will respond promptly.

 

APA Holds National Planning Conference Virtually

This past April 29 – May 1, the American Planning Association (APA) held their annual National Planning Conference for planning professionals across the country. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was transitioned to a completely virtual experience – with more than 5,000 individuals who participated.

The conference, which was given the name “NPC20 @ Home,” featured current topics presented by keynote speakers, workshop sessions, and a variety of networking opportunities and virtual happy hours for those who signed up. New this year, the APA included a program addressing the unprecedented challenges planners are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the virtual conference featured an extra day of career-focused content, held on May 6.

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Helping the Environment as a Homeowner in Chester County

Last month we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and although the celebrations might be over, there are still plenty of ways to help the earth every single day. We often hear about what municipalities and businesses can do to make a positive impact on the environment, but did you know that homeowners can do just as much, if not more, on their own terms? From water conservation practices, to proper waste management -Chester County encourages all residents to recognize the importance of keeping our environment safe through proper sustainability methods at home.

There have been many real-world success stories proving that quality of life can be preserved in Chester County while using less energy, spending less money, and protecting our environment – and there are many low-cost ways for residents to do so.

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Open Space Preservation in Honey Brook Township

Honey Brook Township is positioned as one of the premier agricultural production areas in both Chester County and the state of Pennsylvania. Because of its rich farmland soils and a climate that allows agricultural production without the need for costly irrigation, 70% of the land in Honey Brook Township is used for farmland. Of that land, 35% of it (or 4,710 acres) has been preserved through the township’s Open Space Program, in cooperation with state, county, and other agricultural programs.

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Chester County Celebrates Arbor Day 2020

Today is Arbor Day and we are acknowledging how trees are a critically important resource for Chester County and planet earth. Planting a tree is an incredibly simple, yet impactful way to improve the environment and reduce greenhouse gases.

One of the six goals of Landscapes3, the county’s comprehensive plan, focuses on protecting natural resources. These include trees and woodlands which provide shade, capture stormwater runoff, filter pollutants, mitigate urban heat islands, reduce sound and light pollution, remove carbon from the atmosphere, provide wildlife habitat, beautify communities, and increase property values. These add up to quite the list of essential benefits, proving just how important trees and woodlands truly are for our environment.

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Climate Action Plan

Chester County developed its first Climate Action Plan in 2010 entitled the Chester County Greenhouse Gas Reduction (GHGR) Report. This report was created by a diverse group of stakeholders who provided numerous ideas for reducing carbon emissions at the county and local levels.  While many of the initiatives were implemented, more needed to be done.

In the summer of 2019, the Commissioners directed the Chester County Planning Commission to explore options for updating the GHGR report and transforming it into a new Climate Action Plan for Chester County. The PA Department of Environment Protection had just released an updated Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan in April 2019, so it was perfect timing to update the county’s plan.

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Environmental Successes in Chester County

Chester County government has a long history of protecting the environment and its many natural areas. County departments and agencies have been at the forefront of resource protection, some of them long predating the original Earth Day in 1970. Since 1989, the Commissioners of Chester County have created and funded one of the most comprehensive and sustained efforts in the country to promote a high quality of life through critical environmental protection efforts.

Controlling sprawl development is one of the most important ways the county and municipalities can protect the environment. In fact, since 1995, sprawl development has been significantly reduced, with 10,000 fewer acres developed than expected, despite much more population growth than predicted.  The Chester County Planning Commission, established 70 years ago in 1950, has taken the lead on these efforts and has a well-established mission of sound land use planning and natural resource protection. With the adoption of Landscapes in 1996, the goals of reducing sprawling development, protecting the environment, and preserving open space were officially established as adopted county policy.  Landscapes3, the third iteration of the county’s comprehensive plan, continues this strong resource protection tradition.

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Planning Commission Releases New Environmental Booklet in Honor of Earth Day 2020

The Chester County Planning Commission is excited to announce the release of a new environmental booklet in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, “50 Ways Your Community Can Protect Our Planet!”

With many of the Earth Day 2020 events canceled due to the current COVID-19 crisis, Chester County’s goal is still very much focused on the environment and climate action. This booklet – which can easily be downloaded, printed, or shared across platforms – features five areas, each highlighting a different topic to help protect our planet’s resources and ensure a resilient environment that supports healthy communities. The topic areas include: Rewilding the Suburbs; Greening for Everyone; Discovering New Routes; Corralling Growth; and Befriending the Environment.

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