It's Official! Commissioners Adopt Landscapes3

We are pleased to announce that the Chester County Commissioners adopted Landscapes3, the county’s next long-range comprehensive plan, during a public hearing on November 29th. 

Landscapes3 seeks to balance preservation and growth across the county’s landscapes through six goal areas: Preserve, Protect, Appreciate, Live, Prosper, and Connect. The plan recommits to core principles that will position the county and its municipalities for success, including resource preservation, revitalized urban and suburban centers, housing diversity, transportation choices, collaboration, and resiliency.

The plan, which builds upon the original award-winning Landscapes that was adopted over 20 years ago, establishes a vision for the county and its municipalities; guides county government decision-making; guides municipal planning and implementation; and provides a framework for collaboration across municipal boundaries.

Landscapes3 has been a collaborative process for the past two years in which county officials and planners gathered input from municipal officials, residents, business owners, and other stakeholders. Development of Landscapes3 was guided by the Planning Commission’s nine-member volunteer board and a steering committee of 27 members who volunteered their time and expertise.

Read the Chester County Commissioners’ statements about the plan.

“Throughout the process, we’ve had terrific input from all the county’s stakeholders about what they value in Chester County,” said Chester County Planning Commission Executive Director Brian O’Leary. “We’d like to thank our board and the Landscapes3 Steering Committee for their guidance throughout this process. The Planning Commission is looking forward to implementing the plan’s recommendations next year with our partners.”

The steering committee’s three co-chairs were Matthew Hammond, chairman of the Planning Commission board and executive vice president of Traffic Planning and Design, Inc.; Molly Morrison, Planning Commission board member and Natural Lands president; and Christopher Alonzo, chairman of the county’s Agricultural Development Council and president of Pietro Industries. Below are their statements about the plan.

“The creation of Landscapes3 has been an extremely comprehensive and inclusive process, gathering input from various stakeholders, municipal officials, business owners, and thousands of Chester County residents. This input has enabled Landscapes3 to address the many issues facing the county over the next 10 years and beyond. The plan will be a guide to ensure the county remains one of the best places to live, work, and play in the country.” – Matthew Hammond

“Landscapes3 continues a focus on balancing preservation and growth, which is a focus that has served the county, its municipalities, and residents very well since the original Landscapes was adopted in 1996. Collaborative efforts and partnerships that help achieve that balance and build a resilient community will yield multiple benefits for county residents and businesses.” – Molly Morrison

“I look forward to seeing Landscapes3 implemented so that Chester County remains a thriving community. The plan is a roadmap to help us keep Chester County ‘the place to be’ with great amenities, such as parks, farmers’ markets, housing options, trails, great education, and job opportunities.” – Christopher Alonzo

Now that Landscapes3 has been adopted by the Commissioners, the Planning Commission board and staff will begin working on implementation of the plan with the help of municipalities, partner agencies, and organizations. Below are some of the highlights of the Landscapes3 Work Program for 2019.



For this goal area, we will be:

  • completing an economic value of protected open space study;
  • preparing an annual summary of the amount and type of permanently protected open space in the county; and
  • holding an open space summit.


For this goal area, we will be:

  • updating an inventory of natural resource ordinances; and
  • creating a program for assisting municipalities with their natural resources.


For this goal area, we will be:

  • creating a National Register interactive map;
  • continuing with the Town Tours and Village Walks; and
  • initiating an adaptive reuse design guide.


For this goal area, we will be:

  • generating an affordable housing zoning tool; and
  • holding a housing summit.


For this goal area, we will be:

  • producing an urban design guide; and
  • creating an inventory of redevelopment sites.


For this goal area, we will be:

  • analyzing municipal plans and ordinances for pedestrian, bicycle, and transit provisions;
  • revising the Transportation Improvement Inventory to reflect Landscapes3 priorities and preparing a new Transportation Priority Projects list; and
  • developing an up-to-date inventory of trails in the county.


Ongoing major Landscapes3 initiatives include updating the Vision Partnership Program, maintaining the Pipeline Information Center website, and continuing the Act 247 review process for subdivisions, land developments, ordinances, and plans.

In addition to the goals and vision, the plan includes an interactive map that was influenced by the Landscapes2 Livable Landscapes map, which identified growth and resource areas. The Landscapes3 map has retained the same categories, but has been updated to reflect existing development and preservation in our communities, as well as proposed and planned development projects and preservation efforts.

Learn more about the plan and view the executive summary.