Join us for the 2021 Housing Forum

As described on the Missing Middle Housing website, the word “Missing” is used to describe housing types that are generally not permitted to be built since the 1940s in many places due to zoning restrictions. This term was coined by Opticos Design Founder, Daniel Parolek in 2010, and is the topic for the Chester County Planning Commission’s 2021 Housing Forum!

The Chester County Planning Commission will host the 2021 Housing Forum,“What’s our type? Missing Middle typologies to meet housing needs” on Thursday, November 18, 2021 from 4:00pm – 5:30pm at the Exton Library, and via Zoom. Presentations will focus on local Missing Middle typologies and approaches for municipalities to encourage Missing Middle Housing.

This forum provides a great opportunity for those who are interested in learning more about the county’s housing planning activities, and is open to all municipal staff, partners, and anyone else that would like to attend.

Register for the in-person event.

Register for the virtual event.

Tredyffrin’s Jones Log Barn Living History Center

The Jones Log Barn in Tredyffrin Township is likely one of the oldest barns in the region. However, twenty years ago, it was falling apart and set to be demolished to settle an estate.

Thanks to the work of local and historic preservationists who worked for years to dismantle, relocate, and reassemble the barn – it is now reopening as the Jones Log Barn Living History Center!

The barn will showcase farm life in the 18th-century here in Chester County, as well as Tredyffrin’s role in the Revolutionary war and the process of preserving a historic barn.

As noted in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, “The architectural plan was drawn by the restoration architects Frens & Frens of West Chester, and the actual log assembly was done by Scott Walker, a Montgomery County-based timber framer who grew up in Atlanta and was intrigued by working in Southeastern Pennsylvania because ‘This is where the barns started. They’re the oldest buildings we have.’”

The project was guided by the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s President, Pattye Benson, and was made possible by donations of money and materials.

“One third of the flooring, half of the rafters, and one fourth of the roof system and door jambs are from the original barn,” Benson noted in the article.

The preservation of this barn supports the “Appreciate” goal in Landscapes3, Chester County’s Comprehensive Plan, as it helps to preserve historic resources in their context while supporting appropriate reuse as a vital part of our community infrastructure and character.

The Jones Log Barn Living History Center will be open from April 1 through October 30, and other times by appointment. For more information or to arrange a tour, please contact Pattye Benson at 610-644-6759.

See the full story to learn more:

Join us for the Fall Urban Centers Forum

Chester County’s Urban Centers include the 15 boroughs throughout the county as well as the City of Coatesville. Each of these urban centers serves as a civic, economic, and population center with a traditional town character and identity of its own.

To support the county’s 16 Urban Centers, the Chester County Planning Commission and Chester County Department of Community Development host an annual Urban Centers Forum to present topics and information relevant to our Urban Centers while offering potential solutions and opportunities for discussion and networking.

This year, the Fall Urban Centers Forum, “Great Green, Growing Small Towns,” will be held on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Presentations will include:

  • Permeable Paving (Hoopes Alley porous paver project); Green (stormwater) Bump-outs; Stream Protection Fee Program – Will Williams, West Chester Borough
  • Swarthmore Borough Roundabout – Pedestrian safety, traffic calming, and stormwater management/vegetation – Nicole Kline and Jamie Kouch, McMahon Associates, Inc.
  • Street Trees; Urban Forests; Green Infrastructure; Urban Heat Island effects – Chris Linn, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)

The forum will take place in-person at Oxford Borough Hall (1 Octoraro Alley, Oxford, PA 19363) and via Zoom. We encourage anyone who can attend in-person to do so to gain the most out of the event, but a virtual option is available as well. (Note that CDC guidelines will be followed for the in-person event).

Additionally, a walking tour of Oxford’s historic downtown will be offered after the event, and attendees are encouraged to visit local restaurants and enjoy all that downtown Oxford Borough has to offer. Prizes and other surprises will be provided for in person attendees, so don’t miss out by registering to join us!

To learn more about Chester County’s Urban Centers, visit

Meet Our New Community Planning Director, Bill Deguffroy!

We are excited to welcome a familiar face back to the Chester County Planning Commission as our new Community Planning Director, Bill Deguffroy!

Bill is excited to work with Chester County’s municipalities to implement Landscapes3 (the county’s comprehensive plan) through a vast range of projects and initiatives. “CCPC makes a huge impact on communities in Chester County through research, policy guidance, the Vision Partnership Program, and our work with municipalities,” noted Bill. “The Community Planning Division works on a wide range of topics including comprehensive planning, historic preservation, urban planning, housing, economic development, etc. It is a lot to wrap your head around, but every day brings a new challenge or opportunity to learn. We have a really talented team that I am happy to be a part of.”

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Town Tours & Village Walks Program Wraps up 27th Year

The Chester County Town Tours and Village Walks program wrapped up its 27th year in August with another great series of presentations and walking tours!

This year’s program focused on “Journeying Toward Freedom” and featured both virtual and in-person activities throughout Chester County’s historic sites and villages that were presented by local historic commissions, associations, and societies.

Much like last year, the 2021 program consisted of “Live at Five” events highlighting various aspects of the county’s history. In addition to the live events, historic walking tours occurred on Thursday evenings (and some weekends) June through August.

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Brownfield, Greyfield, & Infill Development

Have you ever driven past an abandoned industrial site or vacant shopping center and wondered what went wrong? In the planning world, these spaces are referred to as Brownfields and Greyfields – and they can be caused by a variety of factors such as irregular lot shape, difficult access, inadequate infrastructure, environmental contamination, outdated or obsolete design, and economic issues.

Although the two are similar, Brownfields result from the contamination of sites due to multiple prior uses (old steel mills, chemical or manufacturing facilities, abandoned buildings, former dumps, lumber yards, dry cleaners, gas stations and auto body shops), while Greyfields are usually not hazardous, but rather obsolete, outdated, or underutilized due to changing market demand, decreased buying power in nearby areas, changes in consumer buying habits, lack of investment, or architecture that no longer meets market demand.

While Brownfields and Greyfields both present potentially negative impacts to their local communities, they can also provide opportunities for redevelopment resulting in community revitalization, open space preservation, public safety, increased service demand, and more.

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Fall Planners’ Forum

The Fall Chester County Planners’ Forum will take place on Wednesday, October 6, both in-person at the East Bradford Township Building, and virtually (via Zoom) from 8:00am – 10:00am. This year’s forum will celebrate 25 years of the county’s Vision Partnership Program (VPP), with three excellent municipal presentations on successfully using planning to reach a community’s goals.

Presenters will include Mandie Cantlin, East Bradford Township Manager, who will describe the township’s extensive open space preservation planning efforts, Tony Scheivert, Upper Uwchlan’s Manager, who will summarize smart growth and village preservation successes, and Matt Fetick, Mayor of Kennett Square, along with Doug Doerfler, Council Member, who will highlight Kennett Borough’s successful revitalization and redevelopment.

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Updates from East Pikeland Township

Rusty Strauss, Township Supervisor from East Pikeland Township, recently attended the Chester County Planning Commission’s August Board Meeting to provide an update on current happenings in East Pikeland.

During his presentation, Strauss touched on various aspects of planning in the township – which is located along the Schuylkill River between Phoenixville Borough and Spring City Borough – as well as its zoning map, which features a mix of commercial, mixed-use, residential, and agricultural districts.

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Medical Marijuana – A Growing Industry

When we think of marijuana, we often associate it with being an illegal substance. However, this is quickly shifting across the nation as many states now allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, or even recreationally.

In Pennsylvania, marijuana is legal for medical purposes through the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act of 2016. It can be administered to treat a variety of serious medical conditions such as cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, autism, intractable pain – and the list goes on.

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Join us for the 2021 Virtual Transportation Forum

The Chester County Planning Commission will host the 2021 Transportation Forum, “Drivers, Deliveries & Dollars” on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm via Zoom.

The forum will include status updates on transportation planning, construction projects, and funding options from the Planning Commission’s Environment and Infrastructure Division, with presentations discussing current and planned transportation improvement projects, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s development of the Chester County Freight Plan, and the impacts of COVID-19 on our transportation system.

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