Measuring Up: How we “Live” in Chester County

Among the six goals in Chester County’s comprehensive plan, Landscapes3, measuring how we “live” is one of the most important aspects when it comes to the day-to-day lives of the county’s 525,000-plus residents. Our neighborhoods, schools, community services, parks, and recreational facilities help us determine how we spend our days, and often times, where we want to spend our future as well.

Chester County’s dedication to “nurture diverse and well-rounded communities with a balance of residential opportunities and convenient access to community facilities, services, and amenities,” is evident in a number of ways throughout the county. In fact, there were a number of projects and initiatives that were completed in 2019 to support this goal, as well as many ongoing efforts.

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Meet Brian Styche

When it comes to the future of Chester County, planning for our trails, bridges, highways, and public transit options is a major component to the county’s success. The Chester County Planning Commission’s Environment and Infrastructure Division focuses their attention on these efforts, and this month, we’re highlighting their Division Director, Brian Styche!

On a typical day, Brian can be found working on various transportation projects throughout the county. “I have the opportunity to work with a lot of great people at the Planning Commission, as well as with other agencies, counties, and municipalities to plan for the future and keep things moving forward in Chester County,” he said.

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A+ Homes Forum Highlights Housing for an Aging Population and Construction Costs

Continuing to focus on supporting homes for all community members, the Chester County Planning Commission hosted public sessions on housing for an aging population and housing construction costs. The “A+ Homes Forum” took place on Tuesday, November 17, and Thursday, November 19, with more than 75 people who attended the virtual Zoom sessions.

Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell attended Tuesday’s session, providing opening remarks regarding the county’s aging population. “Our county is working together to serve all of our residents, including and especially, our senior population,” noted Maxwell. “We have a number of departments such as our Aging Services Department, the Department of Community Development, and the Planning Commission, which are all offering unique services and programs to help ensure safe and quality housing for our senior population.”

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eTools Highlight Modern Day Office Trends

In this new COVID-19 world we’ve been living in, working from home has become more of a necessity than ever before. While “Home-based Businesses” have been around for many years, home based work and businesses have experienced a significant increase over the past nine months due to the pandemic, and they are anticipated to continue to grow (in both popularity and convenience) well into the post-COVID era.

Home-based businesses can be categorized as “no-impact” or “major-impact,” depending on their function, but regardless, must remain secondary to the building’s primary use as a residential dwelling. Municipalities can address home-based businesses in their planning policies and zoning ordinances, which include community benefits such as increased economic base, support for an aging population, expanded use of existing infrastructure, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced neighborhood conflicts.

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Landscapes3 Celebrates 2-Year Anniversary

Just over two years ago, on November 29, 2018, the Chester County Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the long-awaited Landscapes3 – Chester County’s newly updated comprehensive plan. The updated plan provides an outline for what the county is expected to look like by the year 2045. Within the plan are six goal areas – preserve, protect, appreciate, live, prosper, and connect  – each of which speaks to, and serves to protect, the county’s natural features, landscape, and quality of life.

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You are Invited to the Brandywine Battlefield Task Force Webinar

Please join us for a fascinating FREE webinar highlighting new findings about the Battle of Brandywine, plus a sneak-peek into the next phase of Battlefield study, Thursday, December 17th at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Driving through the Brandywine Valley you’ve likely passed many historical sites! Did you know that the largest single day land battle of the entire 7-year American Revolution happened right here? The action and events of the Battle of Brandywine that took place 243 years ago (9/11/1777) spanned approximately 35,000 acres over portions of Chester and Delaware Counties, as well as New Castle County (DE). Featured will be new discoveries about Crown (British, Hessian, Loyalists) and American military activity in the southern battlefield (East Marlborough New Garden, Kennett, Kennett Square, Pennsbury) grounded in 18th century sites that still exist today! Register now!

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County Announces Important Updates to ‘Restore Chester County’

On December 4, the Chester County Commissioners and the Chester County COVID-19 Business Task Force announced an important update to the “Restore Chester County” website, which will provide the county’s businesses and residents with further “action steps” in order to help recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Upon entering the updated website, visitors will be presented with links to the new action steps, as well as the county’s current economic conditions, best business practices, and industry support. Visitors can find further information and guidance broken down into 21 specific industry sectors – ranging from agriculture, office settings, and retail, to schools, religious organizations, and sports & recreation.

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Congratulations to the Brandywine Conservancy’s John Theilacker!

The Chester County Planning Commission would like to congratulate John Theilacker, AICP Certified Planner and Associate Director of the Brandywine Conservancy, for receiving the “Award for a Leader – Professional Planner” by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association. With a 37-year career of planning work in both the public and private sectors, John has spent 22 of those years working at the Brandywine Conservancy. “It’s been my pleasure working with John on planning efforts in Chester County for many years,” noted the Planning Commission’s Assistant Director, Carol J. Stauffer, who submitted the nomination in recognition of John’s achievements. “John is greatly deserving of this recognition for his dedication to protecting the environment, natural resources and open space through excellent planning in Chester County and all of Pennsylvania.”

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