Times Chronicle & Public Spirit


County monitors trends for future

- By Rachel Ravina rravina@thereporte­ronline.com

Growth is a major theme in Montgomery County planning circles as officials look to find the best way to manage future developmen­t.

It’s something that Scott France, executive director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, thinks about as work continues on the 2050 comprehens­ive plan for the state’s third most populous county, behind Philadelph­ia and Allegheny counties.

France said he anticipate­s continuing growth, as an impending influx of nearly 74,000 people is expected over the next few decades.

“Do I see that growth continuing in the current level? I’m still pretty sold that it is going to continue over the next 30 years,” France told MediaNews Group. “We work off projection­s out to 2050, and in those projection­s, I think we do see a slowdown that has been accounted for. We’re still seeing overall a decent amount of growth, currently over 940,000 is our projected 2050 population.”

Recent figures from the U.S.

Census Bureau show 866,005 residents call Montgomery County home, gaining 12,201 new residents since 2020, according to data from the Pennsylvan­ia State Data Center released last month.

“I think the growth kind of supports the direction we’ve seen things going in the county, that even as we become more mature and built out, we’re still an economic center in and of ourselves, not just a bedroom community to Philadelph­ia,” France said.

“People are still making their choices of city versus suburbs based on a number of things, and those factors aren’t much different than they were five years ago, but I think we’re more appealing, too,” France went on to say. “You can live an urban lifestyle in Montgomery County, as well as a suburban lifestyle. Having both speaks to the diversity and the positive opportunit­ies in the county.”

Tracking growth

Growth tracked in Montgomery County was second highest in Pennsylvan­ia, behind neighborin­g Chester County, which added 15,369 residents. France observed the fellow suburban county has “more land to develop,” following in the footsteps of Montgomery County’s “rapid growth” in the 1960s, 1970s, 1990s, and early 2000s.

“Chester’s growing with a lot

 ?? IMAGE COURTESY MONTGOMERY COUNTY PA ?? Montco 2050: A Comprehens­ive Plan for a Changing World
IMAGE COURTESY MONTGOMERY COUNTY PA Montco 2050: A Comprehens­ive Plan for a Changing World

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