Chesco holds Landscapes3 sessions

Chester County residents will have several more chances to comment on the county’s proposed comprehensive plan before it is scheduled for a public hearing and adoption later this year.

Visitors to the New Garden Township municipal building on Tuesday night reviewed and commented on the specifics of Landscapes3, slated to be the county’s next comprehensive plan that is expected to guide growth, preservation, economic development, transportation, and other factors.

Upcoming meetings will be held May 1 at the Penn State Great Valley campus, May 16 at the Chester County Public Safety training campus, and this fall in the West Chester area.

Landscapes3, according to Chester County Commissioners Chairwoman Michelle Kichline, seeks to “balance preservation and growth in ways that embrace place and enhance choice.”

“Community input is critical,” she told the crowd.

Brian O’Leary, the executive director of the county’s planning commission, reviewed the different components of the comprehensive plan for the audience. Those same components served as stations around the meeting room where visitors could leave comments.

According to O’Leary, the six goals of Landscapes3 are to preserve, protect, appreciate, live, prosper, and connect.

The preservation goal focuses on protecting and prioritizing open space, promoting stewardship, and looking at regional protection, he said. The appreciation goal deals with historic and cultural landscapes and looks at protecting town centers and villages, for example, and protecting viewsheds, among other things.

The living goal looks at the challenge of diverse and affordable housing throughout the county for people of all ages, O’Leary said.

The connect goal deals with transportation and how the county would hope to meet the transportation needs of the future. Some of the comments visitors had left at that station included addressing increased congestion during off-peak hours, train service from West Grove Borough, and looking at transportation options for Lincoln University students.

Also part of the presentation was a look at the various map overlays that make up the draft comprehensive plan. O’Leary explained that natural areas, existing land use, infrastructure, and current land-use plans were used to create a broad plan that identifies urban areas like Kennett Square and West Chester, suburban centers like Exton or Jennersville, suburban residential areas like New Garden and Westtown that are expected to see future growth, rural centers like Nottingham and Ludwig’s Corner, rural areas like Warwick and Willistown that are hoping to have limited development, and agricultural areas like Honey Brook and Upper Oxford.

New Garden resident Stan Lukoff asked about the metrics to measure the success of Landscapes3. According to O’Leary, they could include measures like percentage of land preserved or amount of agricultural land preserved. Metrics have not yet been developed to measure success in housing, transportation or the economy, he said.

“Once we have the metrics developed, we’ll be looking for feedback on them,” O’Leary said.

There is currently a 27-member steering committee holding meetings on Landscapes3. The county comprehensive plan is expected to be implemented in 2019.

For more information on Landscapes3, go online at

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About Monica Fragale

Monica Thompson Fragale is a freelance reporter who spent her life dreaming of being in the newspaper business. That dream came true after college when she started working at The Kennett Paper and, years later The Reporter newspaper in Lansdale and other dailies. She turned to non-profit work after her first daughter was born and spent the next 13 years in that field. But while you can take the girl out of journalism, you can’t take journalism out of the girl. Offers to freelance sparked the writing bug again started her fingers happily tapping away on the keyboard. Monica lives with her husband and two children in Kennett Square.



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