Fall Planners’ Forum Focuses on Housing and Open Space

Topics ranging from housing to open space preservation were discussed during the Chester County Planning Commission’s fall 2019 Planners’ Forum. About 60 people attended the forum, which took place at Historic Yellow Springs in West Pikeland Township on Oct. 1.

“At the forum, we heard three excellent presentations,” said Chester County Planning Commission Executive Director Brian O’Leary.

Derek Lombardi, a planner at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, discussed multifamily development trends in the region and showed how demographic changes are driving multifamily growth. Using an analysis of census data and traffic counts at sample developments, he demonstrated that multifamily housing generates fewer school aged children and vehicle trips than single-family homes.

Chester County Planning Commission Trails and Open Space Planner Rachael Griffith presented the Return on Environment: The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Chester County report, which highlights the economic benefits of preserved open space. These include enhanced home values, a cleaner environment, healthier residents, agricultural and tourism jobs, and better fiscal health for municipalities and school districts. View the report.

Jane Dorchester, an architectural historian, and Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County Preservation Director Abbie Kessler used a case study from the Chandler Mill area to demonstrate that the preservation of open space is actually the preservation of historic landscapes that can include buildings, ruins, foundations, archaeological sites, and other remnants of prior use of the land.

View the presentations.

This event was the Chester County Planning Commission’s eighth semiannual Planners’ Forum.