Ch­esco Land­scapes3 ef­fort un­der­way

Plan will in­volve a two-year ef­fort that be­gins with a se­ries of stake­holder meet­ings this fall

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter

WEST CHESTER >> Chester County’s com­pre­hen­sive mu­nic­i­pal and coun­ty­wide plan­ning doc­u­ment, a main­stay of the ef­fort to pre­serve open space and re­vi­tal­ize ur­ban set­tings, will be up­dated over the next two years with pub­lic meet­ings and in­for­ma­tion ses­sion.

The Chester County com­mis­sion­ers an­nounced the Land­scapes3 kick-off last Tues­day at their monthly work ses­sion, with pre­sen­ta­tions about the work that has been done over the past 20 years since the adop­tion of the first land­scape plan. Land­scapes 3 will be de­vel­oped to con­tinue the fo­cus on growth and preser­va­tion es­tab­lished by the orig­i­nal doc­u­ment and its suc­ces­sor, Land­scapes2.

Land­scapes3 will in­volve a two-year ef­fort that be­gins with a se­ries of stake­holder meet­ings this fall, to de­ter­mine the is­sues and chal­lenges fac­ing the county over the next ten years, said county Plan­ning Com­mis­sion Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Brian O’Leary.

“Twenty years ago, Chester County made a choice to re­di­rect growth, to pro­tect open space and to re­vi­tal­ize our towns and ur­ban com­mu­ni­ties,” said Chair­man Ter­ence Far­rell. “Land­scapes and Land­scapes2 have served us very well in do­ing that, but it is time to re­new our vi­sion and en­sure that Chester County re­mains a highly at­trac­tive place to live, work and visit.”

Added Vice Chair­woman Kathi Coz­zone, “The suc­cess of Land­scapes and Land­scapes2 is ev­i­dent, not just in the many awards that each plan has won, but also in the many ac­com­plish­ments that we can at­tribute to the com­pre­hen­sive plan. Now is the time to be­gin the ground­work to carry

our vi­sion on for an­other decade.”

The up­date will in­volve three phases: Un­der­stand­ing the Is­sues (#Tel­lUsL3) will fo­cus on stake­holder meet­ings to gather back­ground data on is­sues and trends in spe­cific top­i­cal sub­jects; Con­struct­ing the Vi­sion (#GuideUsL3) will in­clude re­gional meet­ings, a pub­lic opin­ion sur­vey and the draft­ing, re­fin­ing and adop­tion of the doc­u­ment; and Im­ple­ment­ing the Plan (#WorkWithUsL3) will be­gin the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions.

Land­scape3 will also in­clude an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment seg­ment meant to weave the county’s busi­ness com­mu­nity with its preser­va­tion and re­vi­tal­iza­tion com­po­nents. Other is­sues in­clude agri­cul­ture, hous­ing, trans­porta­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, and com­mu­nity health.

“Chester County’s com­pre­hen­sive plan has been im­ple­mented through per­ma­nently pro­tected open space, an ad­di­tional 10,000 residents to ur­ban com­mu­ni­ties and by guid­ing our cur­rent 10-year eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment strat­egy, VISTA 2025,” said Com­mis­sioner Michaelle Kich­line. “Pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion has been a key to the suc­cess of our com­pre­hen­sive plan, and we strongly en­cour­age all Chester County residents to pro­vide feed­back for the de­vel­op­ment of Land­scapes3.”

The pub­lic is in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the Land­scapes3 up­date process through a se­ries of ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing an up­com­ing pub­lic opin­ion sur­vey, par­tic­i­pat­ing in on-line dis­cus­sions and photo com­pe­ti­tions, as well as through a se­ries of town meet­ings to be held through­out the county.

The first of seven pub­lic meet­ings was held Tues­day, cov­er­ing preser­va­tion is­sues. The next meet­ing will be held on Tues­day, Sept. 27, fo­cus­ing on agri­cul­ture. The fol­low­ing five ses­sions will be held through­out the fall. All meet­ings will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the county’s Pub­lic Safety Train­ing Cam­pus in South Coatesville.

A web­site has been ded­i­cated to the plan in or­der to make the process in­clu­sive and trans­par­ent. In­ter­ested ci­ti­zens are en­cour­aged to go to www.chescoplan­ning.org for up­dates on the de­vel­op­ment of the plan and how to par­tic­i­pate.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Su­san Elks, Di­rec­tor of Plan­ning Ser­vices, Chester County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion at 610-3446285 or email selks@ch­esco.org with any ques­tions or con­cerns.

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