Much has changed in the years since adoption of the County's comprehensive plan, Landscapes2. Changes include a significant economic recession and recovery, digital and technology advances, and growth in both population numbers and diversity. These changes have had significant implications for our built and natural environment. Since the adoption in 2009, the following key changes have occurred that need to be addressed:
- Recovering economy — The recession brought significant changes in the development industry. On-line shopping is a significant competitor to shopping centers and commercial establishments, and office parks must evolve to meet the demands of today's businesses and workers.
- Lifestyle changes — Residents in the Millennial age group as well as senior citizens are seeking towns and urban places for living, working and recreating.
- Housing affordability — There is an increasing gap between disposable incomes and the ability to afford housing in the County.
Landscapes2 said it best: "Chester County is at a critical point in its history. We must make a choice for our future. We can let the unsustainable development pattern of the past continue, or we can choose to work together toward a new pattern of development that preserves the unique character of Chester County."
It is important that we choose a future that balances managed growth with preservation to maintain the quality of place that Chester County residents cherish.