Preserving Chester County’s robust agricultural communities is critical for implementing Landscapes3, and local municipalities can play a key role through growth management, land preservation, and zoning. Two land use tools in particular, growth boundaries and agricultural zoning, help do this.
Growth boundaries are used to show where more intense development is appropriate and where development should be minimized. Growth boundaries are not intended to stop growth; instead, they simply limit development to areas that are better suited with infrastructure and resources such as public sewer, water, and transit. In Pennsylvania growth boundaries are typically shown in municipal comprehensive plans and implemented through zoning and sewage planning.
Another tool used to support growth management and the agricultural industry throughout Chester County is agricultural zoning. Through the use of agricultural zoning, agriculture is protected by specific zoning regulations that have been designed to promote agricultural activities and structures while limiting activities that can compete for productive farmland.
The Planning Commission’s eTools cover a wide array of planning topics from natural resources to economic development. The tools are easy to read, providing a quick overview of each topic, a brief explanation of how it works, and considerations for addressing the topic or regulating use. An alphabetical listing of eTools is available in our Municipal Corner.