Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline, along with leaders of Chester County”s Planning Commission and Parks + Preservation, are hosting the annual Open Space Summit on Thursday, April 29, 2021. The Summit includes a report on Chester County’s 2020 open space preservation achievements and ongoing commitment to the program, and will take place via Zoom from 6:30pm – 8:00pm.
Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said, “Throughout this pandemic, Chester County’s protected open spaces have been a haven for thousands of people to safely visit and enjoy, and have helped to not only improve our physical health, but provide a remedy for our emotional and mental well-being too.”
“Anyone who wants to find out more about the true value of preserving open space in Chester County, and how their own local community can contribute, should ‘attend’ the summit.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on many communities and businesses in 2020 (and into 2021), the City of Coatesville’s downtown revitalization efforts have continued to thrive and grow despite these many challenges!
One project that’s been highlighted on various occasions throughout the year is the two-acre property which was the former site of Lukens Steel’s marketing and sales office. The soon to be 30,000-square-foot building will serve as a start-up hub, and is located at 190 West Lincoln Highway in Coatesville.
When envisioning Chester County, some of the main sights that come to mind are our waterways and greenways. Whether you’re traveling by car, bike, foot, or some other form of transportation – these assets are enjoyed by many and provide numerous benefits to our region.
Greenways are corridors of undeveloped land that offer various advantages to their surrounding area. Often located along streams, greenways support wildlife, provide recreation and environmental benefits, and increase the quality of life for residents and visitors.
Trail and recreation corridors are often located within greenways, which can help to attract businesses and support economic development within the area. Rail trails such as the Chester Valley Trail are some of the most common forms of greenways in our region, as well as the Brandywine Creek Greenway (a regional planning initiative), which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The Chester County Historic Preservation Network (CCHPN) hosted their 2021 Virtual Spring Workshop on Saturday, March 6, from 8:30am-12:30pm.
The workshop provided a series of four consecutive sessions on why preserving our historic places is so important, and featured engaging presentations on the following individual topics: Why Old Places Matter (Tom Hayes); Preservation, Planning and Protection Standards (Jeannine Speirs); Diversity and Historic Preservation (Bertha Jackmon & Tonya Thames-Taylor); and Historic Places in Open Spaces (John Snook).
Our spring 2021 Chester County planners’ forum via Zoom on March 30 is rapidly approaching. We’ve got an exciting lineup of speakers for the event and will provide plenty of time to chat with your fellow planners during the first half an hour, from 8 am to 8:30 am, where people joining the meeting will be put into breakout rooms to chat with other planners. After the presentations conclude at 9:30, there will be an opportunity to stay on the call and connect with anyone else who is participating. So far, we have nearly 70 planners signed up but more are always welcome.
The Chester County Planning Commission and Chester County Environmental and Energy Advisory Board (EEAB) held a virtual public meeting on Thursday, March 4, to present the county’s proposed Climate Action Plan. The meeting was attended by more than 150 individuals who tuned in to listen and provide feedback on the county’s efforts towards climate action planning.
Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline provided a warm welcome and opening remarks about the county’s proposed plan.
“County wide surveys regularly show that people place great importance on Chester County’s natural environment, open space and trail networks – all of which are key elements of climate action planning,” commented Commissioner Moskowitz. “The county’s long term commitment to resource protection and climate action planning can help to ensure a bright and sustainable future for our 525,000-plus residents and 15,000-plus businesses. This is what we all want for our children, our grandchildren, and generations to come.”
The Chester County Planning Commission’s long-time Information Specialist, Marie Celii, will be retiring as of Friday, March 12, 2021. After 18 years with the Planning Commission, we thank Marie for her dedication and time spent to planning and the future of Chester County. Her smiling face will surely be missed!
As part of the Office Administration and Communications team, some of Marie’s daily activities included assisting the public with information and answering questions, providing aerial photography, completing municipal information updates, creating various contact lists (which helped to streamline snail mail to electronic mail), and many other general office duties.
On February 16, 2021, the Federal Highway Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway’s official designation as a National Scenic Byway!
The Byway’s managing entity, the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway Commission (BVSBC), released a statement shortly after thanking those who supported the efforts to achieve this honorable recognition. This included member townships, cultural and scenic attractions along the Byway, PennDOT, Convention and Visitors Bureaus, Planning Commissions throughout the region, and the Delaware Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway.
The Chester County Planning Commission will conduct its monthly board meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 10 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond promptly. The agenda, and minutes from past meetings, are available on our website.
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!