While technology has always played an important role here at the Chester County Planning Commission, 2020 proved (more than ever) its ability to keep things moving amidst a global pandemic. Luckily, thanks to the knowledge and expertise of our Technical Services Supervisor, Gene Huller, and his team, the Planning Commission was able to overcome many of these challenges and continue to work successfully!
When it comes to housing diversity – we might simply think of houses in various sizes, shapes, colors, and costs. What we don’t often think about is how these housing types have an impact on our communities, our environment, and even our future. A greater diversity of housing types such as modern apartments, townhouses, condominiums, and carriage homes have popped up throughout the region in recent decades. While many of these options appeal to those who are looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle, they also help to provide housing diversity in a region which was once comprised of primarily single-family detached homes.
Although these newer developments suit the needs of many young professionals, empty nesters, and others looking to downsize, additional types of housing must be considered in order to meet the needs of everyone in Chester County.
While this past year proved to be a challenge of many levels, the Planning Commission quickly pivoted in mid-March to working remotely and holding virtual meetings with stakeholders by utilizing webinars, public hearings, and many municipal outreach initiatives to continue the implementation of the six goal areas of Landscapes3. The Chester County Planning Commission presented a summary of their yearly activities to the Chester County Board of Commissioners with the release of their 2020 Annual Report.
Open space preservation continued to be a high priority in Chester County in 2020, with several hundred additional acres of land protected, including five farms and a 91-acre addition to Crow’s Nest preserve. Additionally, Planning Commission staff analyzed municipal open space tools and created an interactive map where these local efforts can be viewed online.
In order to maintain safe and efficient growth for our communities now and into the future, evolving the ways in which we connect becomes essential. From our drive to work or the grocery store, to our access to multi-use trails and clean energy networks – many of these systems play an important role in our lives each day. While 2020 was a unique year and proved, more than ever, that our ability to adapt to the needs of our communities is integral, 2019 saw a normal and rather successful year in terms of projects and initiatives.
Great news for jobseekers in the Coatesville area, as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) recently partnered with Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) to launch a new program providing transportation from the City of Coatesville to the Urban Outfitters Distribution Center in Gap, PA. “The Outfitter” launched Monday, February 8, and serves as an employee shuttle and public bus route providing limited stop service from downtown Coatesville directly to the Urban Outfitters Distribution Center. The service, which is managed by TMACC, is free for employees and coincides with the start and finish of each work shift in order to maximize the shuttle’s use.
The Chester County Planning Commission, in partnership with the Chester County Environmental and Energy Advisory Board, is holding a virtual public meeting to present the county’s proposed Climate Action Plan on Thursday, March 4, at 6:30pm. The updated Climate Action Plan will provide a current greenhouse gas emissions inventory, as well as action plans for reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency throughout the county.