Phrnasih bh­gins worn on cop­prhhhn­sivh plan

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jen­nifer Con­nor

Perkasie Bor­ough kicked off its in­ter­ac­tive ef­fort to cre­ate a com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment plan for the bor­ough to pre­pare for the next 20 years dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing Wed­nes­day, Aug. 8.

The Bucks County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion was awarded the con­tract by the bor­ough coun­cil to lead the prepa­ra­tion of the new plan. The last plan was adopted in 1993. The ef­forts are funded by a “large” grant from the Delaware Val­ley Re­gional Plan­ning Com- mis­sion, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the bor­ough.

The pur­pose of this year’s ef­forts, as de­scribed at last Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing, is to cre­ate a pol­icy doc­u­ment that out­lines a shared vi­sion for a community’s fu­ture and out­lines plans to achieve that vi­sion.

At the kick­off meet­ing, as part RI WhH fiUVW YLVLRnLnJ VHVVLRn, UHVL­dents and bor­ough coun­cil mem­bers brain­stormed on three dif­fer­ent top­ics: strengths, weak­nesses and the ideal Perkasie in 2032.

Strengths cen­tered around the “small-town feel,” walk­a­bil­ity, Menlo Park and the community carousel.

BCPC rep­re­sen­ta­tives pre­sented what they found that “makes Perkasie spe­cial,” high­light­ing that 50 per­cent of the bor­ough is res­i­den­tial and the var­ied hous­ing of­fer­ings, from homes to apart­ments. Also, nR VLJnL­fiFDnW SDVV-WhURuJh WUDI­fiF, ex­ten­sive community parks and the prox­im­ity to Bucks County Community Col­lege’s Up­per Bucks cam­pus were no­table.

A whole host of weak­nesses were dis­cussed. Mayor John Hol­len­bach high­lighted that there are a num­ber of old fac­to­ries that aren’t in use, sug­gest­ing the bor­ough could pro­vide tax in­cen­tives to turn those prop­er­ties around.

Many weak­nesses that were brought up be­gan con­ver­sa­tion about pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to in turn cre­ate an ideal Perkasie in 2032.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Matthew Aigeldinger, who is an avid bi­cy­clist, sug­gested the bor­ough could at­tempt to con­nect the Perkiomen Trail to Perkasie. The 20-mile trail fol­lows Perkiomen Creek and con­nects to the Schuylkill River Trail,

which ends in Philadel­phia, and the Audubon Route.

Many sug­ges­tions about con­nect­ing and in­ter­act­ing with sur­round­ing towns were made in an ef­fort to bring more busi­ness to the cen­ter of Perkasie, in­clud­ing dis­cus­sion about con­struct­ing a park­ing over­lay.

One Perkasie res­i­dent, who lived in Cal­i­for­nia for the past 17 years and re­cently re­turned, sug­gested ef­forts to pre­serve his­tor­i­cal re­sources in the bor­ough.

BC3C DnG ERrRuJK RI­fi­cials made it clear that this would not be the last dis­cus­sion to de­ter­mine the di­rec- tion Perkasie will take in the fu­ture. The BCPC in­vited mem­bers of the community to at­tend the com­pre­hen­sive plan meet­ings that will be oc­cur­ring monthly for the next year.

The bor­ough also needs community vol­un­teers to at­tend the meet­ing in Septem­ber, which will be plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion for the com­mu­ni­ty­wide meet­ing in Oc­to­ber. BCPC also en­cour­aged meet­ing at­ten­dees to spread the news about the com­mu­ni­ty­wide meet­ing in Oc­to­ber, which will al­low Perkasie bor­ough res­i­dents to fur­ther brain­storm on the changes they wish to see the bor­ough make. Bor­ough Man­ager Dan Olpere said he be­lieves these meet­ings will be held the sec­ond Wed­nes­day of each month but en­cour­aged res­i­dents to check perkasiebor­ough.org for the finDOLzHG sFKHGuOH Ds WKH dates near.

“I thought tonight’s meetLnJ ZDs D vHry JRRG firsW step to­ward a com­pre­hen­sive plan,” Aigeldinger said. “I thought the di­a­logue was pro­duc­tive and I look for­ward to see­ing an ad­dress­able plan mov­ing for­ward.”

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