Chester County Environmental and Energy Advisory Board will be holding a meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24th via ZOOM. Please visit https://zoom.us/j/95314559138 to join the webinar or telephone 1-312-626-6799 and enter Webinar ID 953 1455 9138. We recommend beginning to log in at 2:15 in case of technical difficulties. The public is invited to join, and there will be an opportunity for public comment during the meeting.
Chester County will be moving to green on June 26, and in preparation for the county’s phased reopening, the Chester County Commissioners and the Chester County COVID-19 Business Task Force have launched an online toolkit offering guidelines that have been specifically designed for Chester County’s 15,000+ businesses and 525,000 residents. The Chester County Planning Commission has played a vital role in assisting with these efforts as well.
“RestoreChesterCounty.org provides direct access to guidelines that are broken down by 20 different business and organization sectors here in Chester County,” explained Chester County Commissioners’ Chair, Marian Moskowitz.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 2020 Census is well underway, and as of April 26, 2020, Chester County has a response rate of 63.8%. While this number is higher than the current response rates of both the state (54.8%), and the country (53.4%), it’s not as high as it could be – so we want to be sure to keep it up!
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.
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.