The Vision and Landscape Map presents a visual "guide for growth and rural resource protection to help achieve our vision. The map's six categories — four in the Growth Areas and two in the Rural Resource Areas — guide future growth while protecting the special characteristics of the county." The following success stories represent key examples of how this guidance has been realized through the actions of public and private entities throughout Chester County. This listing is not exhaustive and there are many more such success stories to be found around the county.
In 2021, the county's Vision Partnership Program (VPP) celebrated its 25th anniversary. The program was recognized at various times throughout the year, including through a video, highlighted stories, and posts. Over the past 25 years, the VPP has leveraged more than $12 million in funds to municipalities throughout the county in support of planning. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision as it supports new municipal comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and other planning tools.
Chester County awarded three grants from the first cycle of the 2021 Vision Partnership Program. Awarded projects included a Clean Energy Transition Plan for multiple townships in the Phoenixville area, an update of the Unionville Area Regional Comprehensive Plan, and a study on the economic benefits of rail restoration. During the second cycle, five grants were awarded to 9 municipalities, with three of the five awards for multi-municipal projects. These initiatives help to implement the Landscapes3 Vision, "Guide compatible growth to the county's urban and suburban centers."
In the winter of 2021, CCPC distributed a Suburban Landscapes Design Guide which provides guidance for suburban locations where new development is most likely to occur. The guide addresses Planning Principles including growth outlook, preservation focus, land use patterns, and infrastructure. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision, "Guide compatible growth to the county's urban and suburban centers."
The Pinckney Hill Commons is an affordable housing community in West Chester which includes 10 townhomes and a four-story 41-unit apartment building. The property is situated in a walkable area that offers convenient access to places of worship, restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and parks. The neighboring Melton Center offers educational, cultural, and recreational programming. As of December 2021, housing applications were being accepted. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision for Urban Center landscapes.
In 2021, Tredyffrin updated their Comprehensive Plan including an emphasis on new development and the development of commercial and mixed-use areas. The plan includes illustrations of a redevelopment concept for an existing shopping center along Swedesford Road. The illustrations depict traditional neighborhood development characteristics, an interconnected multimodal network with bicycle and pedestrian amenities, and a central green space. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision for Suburban Center landscapes.
During 2021, construction progressed at the Woodlands Greystone residential development in West Goshen, long known as the Jerrehian property. The entire property covers 434 acres, 202 of which is open space. The development, which is close to West Chester Borough, includes 158 townhouse units. Greystone included nearly seven miles of trails, and it is nearby to Robert E. Lambert Municipal Park as well. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision for Suburban landscapes.
This 24-acre town center development in West Vincent Township is associated with the adjacent 270 unit Weatherstone residential development. The project included the addition of 230 residential units and 120,000 sq/ft of retail and commercial space — some of which is on the first floor. The total project presents characteristics of a Traditional Neighborhood Development. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision for Rural Center landscapes.
In 2021, West Vincent Township made various amendments to improve its design standards related to natural and historic resources in its zoning ordinance. They also made various amendments to improve the requirements during construction, including narrower street width standards, which will help reduce impervious surface coverage, construction costs, maintenance costs, and vehicle speeds. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision for Rural landscapes.
As set forth in I, the Vision and Landscape Map presents a visual "guide for growth and rural resource protection to help achieve our vision. The map's six categories — four in the Growth Areas and two in the Rural Resource Areas — guide future growth while protecting the special characteristics of the county." The following success stories represent key examples of how this guidance has been realized through the actions of public and private entities throughout Chester County. This listing is not exhaustive and there are many more such success stories to be found around the county.
In February 2020, the Chester County Commissioners appointed a new Environmental and Energy Advisory Board to provide recommendations on environmental and energy practices regarding buildings, facilities, and operations; fuels, vehicles, and transportation; energy sources; air quality; and natural resource protection. The establishment of this board helps to implement the r Vision and Landscape Map, "Respond to changing markets, technology and environmental forces."
In April 2020, seven grant applications to the Vision Partnership Program were approved: open space, recreation and environmental planning in West Bradford; a historic resource survey in East Nantmeal; ordinance updates in Coatesville and London Britain; and comprehensive plans for West Grove, Malvern, and Phoenixville. In the fall, four grants were awarded for comprehensive plans in Willistown and Highland; a Master Corridor Plan in Valley; and comprehensive plan and official map in Highland. This ongoing program helps to encourage municipal consistency with the Landscapes3 Vision and the Landscapes Map.
In August 2020, the new 44 West Plaza development opened in West Chester, which occupies the former site of the Mosteller's department store. The four story mixed-use building includes retail and restaurant space on the first floor, with fully occupied office spaces on the upper floors. This development helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision and Landscapes Map guidance for Urban Centers through its sensitive design that reflects the walkable and historic character of downtown West Chester.
In January 2020, West Brandywine Township adopted a comprehensive plan that addresses changes resulting from the Great Recession of 2008. The plan provides a framework for balancing future growth with protection of natural and historic resources and enhanced transportation networks and trails. This plan helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision and Landscape Map which calls for different approaches to planning in Suburban and Rural landscapes.
In October 2020, Parkesburg Borough adopted a new comprehensive plan that focuses on revitalization. The new plan identifies five key priorities: community amenities and resources; circulation, connectivity and safety; economic development and revitalization; borough services and infrastructure; and land use and community character. This plan helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision and Landscape Map, which recommends growth and density in Urban Center landscapes.
In August 2020, Valley Township adopted a new comprehensive plan that responded to development pressures which have caused the Township to become more suburbanized over time. This plan helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision and Landscape Map, which calls for smart growth planning at communities located at the dynamic interface between Urban and Suburban landscapes.
In June 2020, construction began at the site of the former Frazer Lanes bowling alley along Route 30 in in East Whiteland. The new apartment complex, called "Pendelton at Malvern" will consist of four stories with 225 units and a parking garage. This initiative helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision and Landscape Map which emphasizes "Revitalized Centers" that "Guide compatible growth to the county's urban and suburban centers."
During 2020, sales began of the homes in the 42-unit Unionville Walk residential development. The development is located just south of the Willowdale Shopping Center in a part of Marlborough Township designated as a Suburban Landscape. This cluster development with open space fits the Landscape Map Suburban landscape category, which includes "predominantly residential communities with locally-oriented commercial uses and community facilities."
During the summer of 2020, construction and sales began for Blue Rock at Elverson, a 28-lot residential development in Elverson Borough. The units are townhouses with garages surrounded by largely wooded terrain, yet they are located in an Urban Landscape. This development with affordably-priced homes helps to implement the Landscapes3 Vision and Landscapes Map which emphasizes "Revitalized Centers" that "Guide compatible growth to the county's urban and suburban centers."
During 2019, public and private organizations undertook various initiatives that helped to implement the Landscapes3 vision. The following success stories highlight some of the more notable initiatives.
In July 2019, Avondale Borough adopted a comprehensive plan that examined moderate housing needs, walkability, revitalization, and traffic calming. The previous plan dates from 1993, and work on the update began in November 2017. This plan addresses many of the Planning Principles for Urban Centers listed in Landscapes3, such as providing inclusive housing and pedestrian-friendly streets.
In June 2019, London Britain adopted a comprehensive plan focused on maintaining rural character and quality of life through open space preservation, historic preservation, traffic calming, and other techniques. Many of the township's natural lands are within the State-owned White Clay Creek Preserve. The plan was last updated in 2008. The goals in this plan match those for Rural landscapes identified in Landscapes3.
In November 2019, North Coventry adopted a comprehensive plan that addresses senior housing around the Coventry Mall area (along Route 100), mixed uses in its commercial core, resource protection needs, and open space preservation. This plan, which was last amended in 2006, reflects the varying character of the community, which includes Urban Center, Suburban Center, Suburban, and Rural landscapes.
In June 2019, West Goshen adopted a comprehensive plan that supports affordably-priced housing, identifies potential redevelopment of a shopping center, and advocates for better bike/pedestrian connections to West Chester. This plan acknowledges that much of the township is developed, and redevelopment will be occurring in the township's Urban Center, Suburban Center, and Suburban landscapes.
In March 2019, Westtown Township adopted a comprehensive plan that supports affordably-priced housing and open space preservation. This plan will guide development and preservation of Westtown and its neighborhoods over the next 20-year planning horizon. The plan's stated focus was "preserving and enhancing Westtown's livability," which addresses many of the Planning Principles for Suburban areas described in Landscapes3.