Planning Commission Highlights Staff Member Chris Bittle

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at the Chester County Planning Commission, you’ll find (among other things) our skilled team of graphics professionals. The graphics team is part of our Design and Technology division, and this month, we’re excited to highlight our Senior Graphics Specialist, Chris Bittle!

Chris arrived at the Chester County Planning Commission (by accident) back in 1987. What was supposed to be a summer lawn-mowing job for the Chester County Parks Department, (fortunately) turned into a long-time career when his plans fell through due to an ankle injury. When the secretary at the Parks Department saw that Chris was studying Graphic Design, she sent his resume upstairs to apply for the Planning Commission’s summer part-time graphics position instead – and he’s been here (more or less) ever since!

Over the years, Chris has contributed to many of the county’s important projects and initiatives. Some of his favorites include working on all three of the Landscapes documents, the “What is Open Space?” exhibit at the Chester County Historical Society (a few years back), and more recently, the video for the “Return on Environment” report, which was ¬†presented by the Commissioners’ at the county’s “Open Space Summit” in the spring of 2019.

As a Senior Graphics Specialist, Chris is involved in many different things at the Planning Commission – from laying out documents, to creating logos, graphics and posters for various displays, to attending events and public meetings. Chris also does the majority of the Planning Commission’s photography and photo archiving, and shoots and edits most of the in-house videos (which are housed on the Planning Commission’s YouTube page) as well. Chris is also responsible for starting “Baked Goods Friday” and “Third Thursday” where a small group of staff members go out to lunch once a month to a different local restaurant – both activities are very popular with many of the Planning Commission staff.

In his spare time, Chris can be found enjoying a good documentary (most likely something about music, art, or history), listening to music (Delta blues and the Grateful Dead are his favorite), watching a Charlie Chaplin film, walking his relatively newly adopted dog, Sam (age 11), drawing cartoons, going to concerts, doing yardwork, relaxing in the hammock or hot tub, going to Penn State football games or watching them on TV, playing tennis, volleyball, or pickleball. He has also been known to create cartoon cards for his fellow coworkers, some of which have been kept and cherished for decades.

A native to Chester County, Chris grew up in Cochranville (West Fallowfield Township), and currently lives in Lancaster, PA with his wife (Becky) daughter (Dory – who is currently a junior at the University of Pittsburgh) and their 11 year old rescue dog, Sam. While he enjoys spending time at home (especially during the pandemic), he is also a big fan of traveling and has visited many U.S. states and countries in Europe and South America. His favorite place in the U.S. is Camden, Maine, and outside of the U.S. is Venice, Italy. Needless to say, Chris is looking forward to traveling again!

One of Chris’s favorite things to do in Chester County is to drive up Route 82 from the Unionville area to South Coatesville. “The rolling hills and beautiful horse farms make for a spectacular drive,” says Chris. He also enjoys driving into Hibernia Park along the Brandywine Creek, and exploring the various historic Battle of Brandywine sites.

When asked what his favorite life quote was, Chris replied with, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.