Planning Commission Releases New Suburban Centers Design Guide

With so much growth throughout Chester County’s suburban centers in recent years and with more growth expected, our communities are facing many challenges and must prepare for the new growth that is coming. To assist with these efforts, the Chester County Planning Commission is excited to present the new Suburban Center Landscapes Design Guide! This guide provides planning and design guidance for new development in corridors, underutilized shopping centers, older office and business parks, and infill locations within Chester County’s Suburban Center landscapes.

The foundation for the guide is found in Landscapes3, Chester County’s comprehensive plan, where four landscape categories, including Suburban Centers, are identified to best accommodate future growth throughout the county. The 17 Suburban Center landscapes in Chester County are specifically envisioned as regional economic, population, and transportation centers. These areas will accommodate substantial future growth of medium to high intensity with a mix of uses, including commercial, residential, and industrial.

Based on the Landscapes3 vision for the Suburban Center landscapes, the guide features chapters on Planning Principles (including growth outlook, preservation focus, land use patterns, and infrastructure) and Design Elements (including building character, site amenities, and transportation). The Planning Principles chapter provides example policies to guide municipal action and facilitate private investment. The Design Elements chapter provides illustrations of best practices and example regulatory strategies municipalities use to achieve quality development. Both sections also provide links to additional on-line resources. Learn more: