Vision Partnership Program – Awards
2023 VPP Awards
Harriet Tubman Scenic Byway Commission — Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad - Path to Freedom Heritage Interpretation Plan
The Harriet Tubman Scenic Byway Commission member municipalities: Kennett Township (lead), Pennsbury Township, Pocopson Township, and Kennett Square Borough are requesting funds to complete a Heritage Interpretation Plan for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad - Path to Freedom. This grant will allow for an in-depth examination of the broader Underground Railroad story in Chester County and the region, using both Underground Railroad research materials, and direct input from Underground Railroad advocacy groups to develop a high-quality heritage interpretation plan for this very important part of Chester County history. The consultant selected for this effort is the National Travel Center.
Pennsbury Township — Ordinance Updates
Pennsbury Township will: (1) review and write an ordinance regarding the protection of specimen trees, (2) review and write an ordinance regarding the protection of riparian buffers, (3) write an ordinance regarding medical marijuana (growing, processing and dispensary operations), and (4) assess and update/adopt as appropriate, additional natural resource protection ordinance updates such as reducing the permissible rise in base flood elevation from 1' to 0'. The township has selected Brandywine Conservancy to complete this project.
West Chester Borough — Park, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan Update
West Chester Borough will update its 1986 PROS Plan which was last updated in 1992. It will focus on advancing the goals of Landscapes3 in West Chester Borough. A project team of Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT) and Toole Recreation Planning has been selected to complete this project.
*The project team has begun existing conditions analysis and public engagement. West Chester Borough has already committed $28,255 towards this project, outside of this VPP request. The total project cost including the VPP grant request and all municipal funding is $92,255.
West Nantmeal Township — Comprehensive Plan Update
West Nantmeal Township seeks funding to update the Comprehensive Plan, last updated in 2007. Designated Rural and Agricultural Resource Areas in Landscapes3, the Township wishes to update the plan to reflect changing conditions over the past 17 years and to engage the public in charting the future course for the community. The township has selected Castle Valley Consultants to assist with this effort.
East Whiteland Township — Zoning Ordinance Update (full)
East Whiteland Township's existing zoning ordinance and zoning map will be used as the basis for a full ordinance update. The new ordinance will be generally consistent with the Township's adopted planning policies, including the Comprehensive Plan (2016), Route 30 Corridor Master Plan (2018), and Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan (2022). The updated Zoning Ordinance will be a tool to support implementation of these previous planning efforts and shall comply with the applicable provisions and content requirements for a Zoning Ordinance, as prescribed by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. In addition to the ordinance, the Township anticipates that the consultant will assist with initial visioning and consensus building on key focus areas, such as the Lancaster Avenue (Route 30) Corridor and the Great Valley Corporate Center.
Grant Awarded $50,000 | Total Project Cost $100,000
West Goshen Township — Park, Recreation, and Open Space Plan
West Goshen Township is seeking funding to develop a Park, Recreation, and Open Space Plan for the Township's park system. The purpose of this plan to help guide future planning efforts and investment in the Township's park, recreation, and open space facilities. The West Goshen Township Park, Recreation, and Open Space Plan will prioritize annual capital improvements and provide guidance for the management and maintenance of the existing and future parks, recreation facilities, and open spaces in the Township.
Grant Awarded $45,000 | Total Project Cost $90,000
2022 VPP Awards
East Coventry Township — Land Use Assumptions Report & Roadway Sufficiency Analysis
Completion of a Land Use Assumptions Report and Roadway Sufficiency Analysis in support of a new Act 209 Study. This new effort will take a fresh look at development projections and existing/future traffic conditions; determine development traffic impact fees; and determine transportation capital improvements consistent with community and region's current goals and vision. McMahon Associates, Inc. would serve as the primary consultant for this project.
Grant Awarded $12,000 | Total Project Cost $57,000
East Fallowfield Township — Open Space, Recreation, and Environmental Resource Plan Update
The township will update its 1993 Open Space, Recreation, and Environmental Resources Plan. The revised plan will identify opportunities for future open space preservation, identify the current and potential future demands for recreational parks and facilities, and provide a vision for a bicycle and pedestrian transportation network that connects neighborhoods to parks, schools, and businesses. The consultant team for this project would consist of Brandywine Conservancy and Recreation and Parks Solutions.
Grant Awarded $30,000 | Total Project Cost $63,900
Downingtown Borough — Comprehensive Plan Update
The Borough wishes to update its comprehensive plan that was last updated in 2013 and amended in 2015. The borough has not yet selected a project consultant.
Grant Awarded $45,000 | Total Project Cost $90,000
Phoenixville Borough — Zoning Ordinance Update
This project is to update the Borough's current Zoning ordinance this is on the heels of the Borough's newly adopted Comprehensive plan update. The Borough's Zoning Ordinance rewrite will strive to be consistent in achieving the goals and vision of Landscapes3. The Borough hopes to integrate the goals of Preserve, Protect, Appreciate, Live, Prosper, and Connect in an Urban Center into the zoning ordinance update. The Boroughâ€™s Current Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 2013. Gilmore & Associates would serve as the consultant for this project.
Grant Awarded $35,250 | Total Project Cost $70,500
Upper Uwchlan Township — Active Transportation Plan
This project will identify priority recommendations and implementation strategies to create a more complete active transportation network in the fast-growing township of Upper Uwchlan. The project team will employ a robust public engagement process in its effort to identify key gaps and priority opportunities. Upon completion, the township will have a clear and specific roadmap for achieving its vision for a connected network of active transportation facilities. The township has selected McMahon Associates as the lead project consultant with support from the Brandywine Conservancy.
Grant Awarded $30,000 | Total Project Cost $70,000
West Caln Township — Zoning Ordinance Update
This project will update and overhaul the Township's 2006 Zoning Ordinance to make it more user friendly and to implement the recently adopted (2021) Comprehensive Plan, to the extent possible. The 2021 Comprehensive Plan was partially funded by a VPP grant. The extent of its implementation with respect to these zoning ordinance updates will be based on the level of public support for proposed changes. The township has selected a project team consisting of Sarcinello Planning and Ray Ott & Associates.
Grant Awarded $36,972 | Total Project Cost $82,115
West Pikeland Township — Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan
The plan will provide guidance to the Township for improving their existing parks, conserving open space, and connecting trails. It will also provide recommendations on land use policies, financing, operations and maintenance. It will be based on a robust public process, designed to gather information from the public to guide creation of the plan. This plan would be adopted as an amendment to the municipal comprehensive plan. Natural Lands would serve as the consultant for this project.
Grant Awarded $40,000 | Total Project Cost $80,000
West Whiteland Township — Parks Wayfinding Signage Manual
The purpose of the West Whiteland Parks System Wayfinding Signage Design Manual (WSM) is to promote placemaking throughout the Township, starting with our 11 parks. The goal is to complete a comprehensive wayfinding signage package to enhance the user experience in the parks. The WSM will create a uniform wayfinding signage brand for the Township to use at each park to provide mapping, educational and informational signage to facilitate usersâ€™ needs to locate park amenities, along with Township sign maintenance and overall phasing implementation of the signage program. Merje would serve as the consultant for this project.
Grant Awarded $20,300 | Total Project Cost $35,000
2021 VPP Awards
Kennett Area (Kennett Township, Kennett Square Borough, and East Marlborough Township) — Longwood Gardens Connector Trail Feasibility Study
The three municipalities are proposing to perform an analysis and recommend bicycle and/or pedestrian facilities to connect the Kennett area to Longwood Gardens. This project builds off of the Southern Chester County Circuit Trail Feasibility Study (completed by CCPC) to better refine and determine the feasibility of constructing community connections. This project also is timed well with Longwood Gardens undertaking a master plan exercise. Longwood Gardens is also committed to provide match for the project. A consultant team lead by McMahon Associates has been selected.
Grant Awarded $40,000 | Total Project Cost $75,783
London Britain Township, Franklin Township, Elk Township, and New Garden Township — Mason-Dixon Line/Arc Corner Heritage Interpretation and Connectivity Plan
The four townships are proposing to prepare a plan that will promote thematic and physical heritage interpretation and connectivity between key natural, cultural, historic, and agricultural sites within the Mason-Dixon Planning area. The Brandywine Conservancy has been selected as the consultant.
Grant Awarded $44,000 | Total Project Cost $64,783
London Britain Township, New Garden Township, Londonderry Township, and Kennett Township — Route 41 Corridor Improvement Study
The five municipalities are proposing a corridor plan which places community needs and values at its center. The project would begin with a regional visioning process. Then, conceptual design solutions would be identified to address traffic and safety issues to help the communities achieve their vision. Consultant selection has not been finalized, but it would likely be lead by McMahon Associates.
Grant Awarded $45,000 | Total Project Cost $75,960
Penn Township — Comprehensive Plan Update
The township is proposing a major update to the Penn Township Comprehensive Plan (2012) to better align the township plan with Landscapes3, incorporate recommendations from their Act 209 plan, consider zoning changes from 2019, and account for significant growth and development over the last decade. The township has not selected a consultant.
Grant Awarded $45,000 | Total Project Cost $75,000
Phoenixville Area (East Pikeland, Schuylkill, West Vincent, and West Pikeland Townships) — Clean Energy Study
The four townships are proposing to work together on a plan on energy efficiency and how to transition to additional use of clean energy. One focus would be of municipal facilities and equipment; another would be public education to allow the plan to impact the broader community to an extent. The municipalities would select a consultant after award. Returning from the fall 2020 cycle, the project has added an additional municipality, clarified some of the scope, and adjusted the financials.
Grant Awarded $69,284 | Total Project Cost $35,000
Unionville Area (East Marlborough, West Marlborough, and Newlin Townships) — Regional Comprehensive Plan Update
The three townships are proposing updating their existing regional comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2011. Refining resource protection while continuing to provide options for housing and development within the region would be focus items. The municipalities were able to implement various recommendations from their 2009 plan. The update will also address Landscapes3.
Grant Awarded $39,000 | Total Project Cost $60,000
West Chester Borough — Rail Economic Study
The borough is proposing to complete a study on the economic benefits of restoring rail service to West Chester. The study is limited in scope and would address impacts such as local economic development and property values, as well as potential local funding options and equity impacts.
Grant Awarded $12,000 | Total Project Cost $21,000
West Vincent Township — Forestry Protection Ordinances
The township is proposing Zoning and SLDO amendments to enhance protection of critical forest resources within the Hopewell Big Woods and within EV and HQ designated watersheds. The township has selected Theurkauf Design & Planning as the consultant.
Grant Awarded $11,620 | Total Project Cost $16,600
2020 VPP Awards
City of Coatesville — Zoning Ordinance Update
Coatesville is proposing to update their Zoning Ordinance with a focus on streamlining, clarifying, and simplifying the existing ordinance. Revisions to existing overlays will be undertaken, although the zoning map of base districts is not anticipated to be significantly revised.
Grant Awarded $24,500 | Total Project Cost $35,000
East Brandywine Township — Comprehensive Plan and Official Map
The township is proposing to update their existing comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2009, and update their existing Official Map that dates from 2011. Recommendations in the existing plan have largely been completed, and the update will address Landscapes3. The comprehensive plan will build from recommendations included in a recently completed Sustainable Community Assessment, and the Official Map will be able to implement recommendations.
Grant Awarded $40,000 | Total Project Cost $70,000
East Nantmeal Township — Historic Resource Survey
East Nantmeal is proposing to create a historic resource survey for the purposes of supporting their historic preservation provisions in their existing ordinances. PHMC guidelines will be followed for development and submission of data, including use of Survey123.
Grant Awarded $11,000 | Total Project Cost $16,000
Highland Township — Comprehensive Plan
Highland Township is proposing to develop a new comprehensive plan; their existing plan was adopted in 2001. The township is proposing a focused update of that plan. While some things have changed in the years since, various information remains relevant since there have been limited changes in land use and population numbers. Recommendations in the existing plan have largely been completed, and the update will address Landscapes3.
Grant Awarded $24,500 | Total Project Cost $43,000
London Britain Township — Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance Update
London Britain is proposing to update their Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SLDO). The update would be comprehensive, and include a focus on stormwater management provisions (particularly green infrastructure), development design standards, resource conservation and green space standards, and design standards for villages.
Grant Awarded $16,555 | Total Project Cost $23,650
Malvern Borough — Comprehensive Plan
Malvern is proposing updating their existing comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2012. The borough's overarching vision is to retain Malvern's small town character while supporting housing options and expanding the pedestrian network. The land use, housing, economic development, and transportation plans will be critical elements of the new plan. The Borough will continue their commitment to protection of environmentally sensitive areas with updated policies.
Grant Awarded $31,890 | Total Project Cost $53,190
Phoenixville Borough — Comprehensive Plan
Phoenixville is proposing updating their existing municipality-specific comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2011. This plan will follow the policies of the Phoenixville Region Comprehensive Plan, and provide additional focus to key items. Multi-modal accessibility, sustainability, affordable and accessible housing, sustained revitalization, and access to trails and recreation options are anticipated to be critical elements of the new plan.
Grant Awarded $34,492 | Total Project Cost $49,988
Valley Township — Master Corridor Plan
Valley Township is proposing to conduct a corridor master plan for West Lincoln Highway, a high priority recommendation from their recently adopted comprehensive plan. The plan would work to create a more cohesive corridor, addressing streetscaping, multi-modal network, mixed uses, access management, and stormwater management infrastructure from the perspective of both new development and redevelopment.
Grant Awarded $30,500 | Total Project Cost $50,000
West Bradford Township — Open Space, Recreation, and Environmental Resources Plan
West Bradford is proposing development of an Open Space, Recreation, and Environmental Resources Plan (OSRER) to replace their 1993 plan. This updated OSRER would guide use of funds from a recently enacted tax increase that was specific to the need for open space funds, as well as determine the best use for the almost 200 acres of land previously part of Embreeville Hospital. The plan will also address greenways, conceptual trail planning, and recreation programming, and include resource mapping and a botanical assessment.
Grant Awarded $48,000 | Total Project Cost $74,000
West Grove Borough — Comprehensive Plan
West Grove is proposing to develop a new Comprehensive Plan; their existing plan was adopted in 2003. Since 2003 West Grove's demographics have changed significantly, and the new plan will include a focus on multimodal options, revitalization, recreation, and public engagement.
Grant Awarded $42,000 | Total Project Cost $60,000
Willistown Township — Comprehensive Plan
The township is proposing updating their existing comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2011. The plan is anticipated to strengthen the interconnectedness of growth management, environmental resource protection, and open space and recreation planning, and include a focus on sustainability and pedestrian circulation.
Grant Awarded $40,000 | Total Project Cost $82,000
2019 VPP Awards
Brandywine Battlefield Group, Birmingham Township lead — Heritage Interpretation Plan
Along with East Bradford, Kennett, Pennsbury, Thornbury, and Westtown, and with outside funding support from Chadds Ford Township, Birmingham Township is proposing development of a heritage interpretation plan to promote thematic and physical heritage interpretation. The plan will build from previous efforts to finalize locations for Heritage Centers, identify key sites for limited public interpretation purposes, develop interpretation narratives, develop driving and walking tours, and promote public education, smallâ€“scale heritage tourism, and visitor safety. Properties that have been recently preserved and their role in visitor experience would be addressed. The plan would provide a cohesive vision, narrative, and actions for how the many implementing entities can create a visitor experience that allows the public to engage with local history and interact with remaining landscapes and resources.
Grant Awarded $29,000 | Total Project Cost $43,000
Caln Township — Zoning Ordinance Update
The township is proposing to update their Zoning Ordinance, implementing recommendations from their comprehensive plan and creating a cohesive ordinance that encourages appropriate development. Recent development pressure created a desire to more comprehensively address proposed development, but previous pressure created multiple zoning amendments that are not advancing an integrated community. The focus will be on clarifying zoning along Route 30, a key business area that includes the SEPTA train station. Stormwater, pedestrian connection, open space/recreation, mixed use, and historic preservation provisions will be updated.
Grant Awarded $25,000 | Total Project Cost $60,000
East Fallowfield Township — Newlinville Village Master Plan
The township is proposing development of a village master plan for the Newlinville area of the Township (along Route 82, immediately south of South Coatesville). The plan would create a vision and implementation tasks for development of a walkable community that provides a mix of residential and commercial services, addressing streetscaping, zoning uses, design guidelines, and public improvements while presenting a concept plan/renderings. The plan would implement recommendations from the 2015 Comprehensive Plan, including fostering economic development in the Township. The application is supported by South Coatesville and Valley Township.
Grant Awarded $21,266 | Total Project Cost $30,380
Icedale Trail Feasbility Study: The existing trail is nestled in a mature woodland and is located along the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek.
Honey Brook and West Brandywine Townships — Icedale Trail Feasbility Study
Honey Brook Township and West Brandywine Township are proposing development of a trail feasibility study for the "Icedale Trail". This would be a new multimodal off-road trail of approximately 2.5 miles between Rt 322 and Icedale Road, potentially utilizing a former railroad corridor and riparian areas along the West Brandy Brandywine Creek, and crossing parcels owned by the PA Fish and Boat Commission. The trail would provide a recreation option for nearby residential areas, including two mobile home parks, and improve public access to Icedale Lake.
Grant Awarded $16,450 | Total Project Cost $25,250
Phoenixville Region — Comprehensive Plan Update
West Pikeland Township is going through the required steps to join the existing Phoenixville Region. Updating the recently adopted Phoenixville Region Comprehensive Plan to address West Pikeland, and its place within the Region, would advance this effort, and strengthen the existing Region.
Grant Awarded $23,310 | Total Project Cost $33,300
West Chester Borough — High Street Corridor Study
The borough is proposing development of a corridor study that will analyze pedestrian safety, circulation, lighting, multimodal, transit, and vehicular needs on South High Street (Market Street to Rosedale Avenue). The project would develop a concept plan that depicts proposed improvements, thereby directing potential PennDOT funding (perhaps available to advance to final design as early as 2020) as well as Borough funds and potential future CRP/DVRPC applications. West Goshen Township will be asked to serve on the project's task force, enabling continued coordination on efforts that involve West Chester University, and WCU students will be invited to participate in data gathering.
Grant Awarded $22,500 | Total Project Cost $35,000
West Whitelandp — Historic Resource Survey Update
The township is proposing an update of their historic resource survey (which dates from the early 1980s), to include a comprehensive survey of historic resources, an update of the historic resources map, an update of their History of West Whiteland publication, and creation of an ArcGIS geodatabase that will inventory all historic resources 45 years or older. The products would seamlessly integrate with PHMC's new database. The township faces significant development pressure that has exposed flaws in their existing survey.
Grant Awarded $27,500 | Total Project Cost $51,900
2018 VPP Awards
Coatesville, South Coatesville Borough & Valley Township — Economic Development Study
The three municipalities propose to develop a micro-regional economic development study to provide strategies to recruit varied industry sectors to the area. The study will gather relevant background information, including specific economic data, and identify actionable steps for attraction and recruitment efforts.
Grant Awarded $40,000 | Total Project Cost $60,000
East Marlborough Township — Open Space, Recreation, and Environmental Resources Plan
The township is proposing development of a plan to address existing parks, newly acquired township open space, trail connections, and prioritization for future open space preservation. Coordination with the school district is proposed, given their contribution to active recreation facilities in the Township. The existing plan dates from 1993.
Grant Awarded $28,500 | Total Project Cost $51,000
East Whiteland Township — Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Plan
The township proposed to complete a plan to identify, acquire, operate, maintain, and connect open space. The goal would be to establish a blueprint for providing a network of parks, trails, and open spaces that includes active and passive recreation facilities, protected natural landscapes, and preserved historic sites.
Grant Awarded $42,000 | Total Project Cost $70,000
Easttown Township — Devon Visioning and Amendments
The township is proposing to conduct public visioning sessions to build community consensus for zoning amendments in the Devon area. Following the visioning process, zoning amendments will be drafted and reviewed. This project was a high priority recommendation in their recent comprehensive plan.
Grant Awarded $29,500 | Total Project Cost $53,490
Uwchlan Township — Comprehensive Plan and Official Map
The township proposes to update their comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2010. This full update would follow the format of the existing plan. An update to their Official Map would also occur as part of the project.
Grant Awarded $36,000 | Total Project Cost $60,000
Cover for the Valley Township Comprehensive Plan.
Valley Township — Comprehensive Plan
The township is proposing development of a new comprehensive plan. Their existing plan dates from 2003. The new plan will incorporate information from various plans, build consensus around a vision for the future that is implementable, and prioritize future action.
Grant Awarded $41,307 | Total Project Cost $59,000
West Caln Township — Comprehensive Plan
The township is proposing development of a new comprehensive plan. Their existing plan dates from 1998. The new plan will be implementable and include a focus on sustainability. Specific issues to be addressed include use of Superfund sites, promotion of alternative energy, and increased coordination with adjacent townships that face similar challenges.
Grant Awarded $27,000 | Total Project Cost $62,000