The Chester County Planning Commission is excited to announce the release of a new environmental booklet in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, “50 Ways Your Community Can Protect Our Planet!”
With many of the Earth Day 2020 events canceled due to the current COVID-19 crisis, Chester County’s goal is still very much focused on the environment and climate action. This booklet – which can easily be downloaded, printed, or shared across platforms – features five areas, each highlighting a different topic to help protect our planet’s resources and ensure a resilient environment that supports healthy communities. The topic areas include: Rewilding the Suburbs; Greening for Everyone; Discovering New Routes; Corralling Growth; and Befriending the Environment.
Each year, the Chester County Planning Commission collects data on the total amount of protected open space in Chester County – and 2019 had more great numbers to report!
In 2019, there was a total increase of 2,400 acres of protected open space in Chester County, and as of December 31, 29.3% of the county – or a total of 142,000 acres – was permanently-protected. Last year, the Agricultural Land Preservation Board (ALPB) preserved 18 farms totaling 1,247 acres through its Agricultural Preservation Program. There were an additional 80 acres added to county parks and over 200 acres added to municipal parks, including the 115-acre Crouse property in East Pikeland and the 105-acre St. Anthony in the Hills property in New Garden. Master plans for the development of these new parks are moving forward. The county’s conservancies were also very active, preserving nearly 700 acres of land, including additions to State Game Lands in West Nantmeal, the Castle Rock Farm in West Brandywine and Pocopson, an addition to the Welkenweir Preserve, and an expansion of the White Clay Creek Preserve.
In honor of Earth Day on April 22, this month’s highlighted eTools focus on a variety of different sustainability practices and resources. With a need to address greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, energy efficiency and sustainable practices become important considerations for everyone. The tools below can support sustainability in a number of ways – from improved air and water quality, to protecting wildlife habitats and more.
In March of 2020, the U. S. Census Bureau released the estimated 2019 population for all counties in Pennsylvania, along with data describing the people who were moving in and out of each county. This data set (which has been maintained since 2010) shows that over the last ten years, Chester County’s population estimate grew by 25,064 (or 5.01%), which is the 5th largest county percent increase in the state, and the 4th largest increase in total numbers.
Funding has been awarded to seven municipal projects in the first round of the Vision Partnership Program (VPP) for 2020, which will help advance community projects such as comprehensive plans, ordinance updates, and other planning studies. Demand was high this grant cycle, with over $368,000 in support requested. Due to rollover funds from past cycles and projects coming in under budget, more $200,000 was available for projects, which enabled grants to multiple, but not all, applicants.
In these uncertain times, getting a complete count of the county’s residents is more important than ever. The results of the census will help determine our community’s future – from funding for school lunches, to highways and public transit options, to responding to natural disasters.
When you fill out the census, you should include all those living in your house as of April 1, 2020 (Census Day). We encourage all residents to complete the census ASAP, however due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline has been extended to August 14, 2020.
Completing the census is easy! You can fill it out online, over the phone, or by U.S. mail. For more information about the 2020 census and to do your part, please visit www.2020census.gov.
Due to Governor Wolf’s “Stay at Home” order to help slow the spread of coronavirus throughout the region, Chester County Government and Courts are currently operating on an essential services-only basis, and our office is currently closed. All Chester County Planning Commission staff will be working remotely, and are available to contact via email.
Plans may be submitted via the Chesco Self Service online portal at https://energov.chesco.org/EG/SelfService/#/home. Endorsements will be made by appointment only. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment
For staff contact information, please visit https://chescoplanning.org/AboutUs/StaffDirectory.cfm.
If you are not able to complete your business online or find answers to your questions, please send us an email at email@example.com, and someone will respond. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. Please stay healthy, stay safe and stay home to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
It was a great turnout at the Chester County Planning Commission’s Spring Planners’ Forum on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 with nearly 60 people in attendance. Three presentations were given, with an introduction and welcoming remarks from the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art’s Executive Director, Virginia (Ginny) Logan.
This month’s highlighted eTools look at different ways to support people of all ages and abilities. Aging in Place and Age-restricted Housing focus specifically on housing options for older populations while Universal Design for Residential Uses and Universal Design for Public Spaces accommodates all ages and abilities.
We are pleased to announce that Benjamin Nein has joined our staff as the new Technical Services Specialist. Benny recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Environmental Planning, and is on track to complete his Master of Science in Geography later this year. While an undergraduate, Benny was a data analyst intern at the Chester County Department of Parks and Open Space Preservation. He also worked as a graduate assistant providing data research and visuals for faculty and university events. We look forward to having Benny assist with GIS while also providing support with IT related tasks.