Check out our 2021 Landscapes3 Success Stories
Posted March 22, 2022
Each year, the Chester County Planning Commission (CCPC) tracks stories that support the goals and vision of Landscapes3, the county's comprehensive plan. While the past two years have been quite unpredictable (to say the least), we've seen continued successes across the county in each of the plan's goal areas, proving that despite the ongoing challenges, Chester County continues to grow in a positive way!
Below is a preview of some 2021 Success Stories, which are categorized by the six goal areas and vision. These stories include a mix of CCPC, county, municipal, non-profit, and other partner organizations all working towards the success and future of Chester County.
In November of 2021, Natural Lands protected nearly 42 acres of land in New Garden Township with the preservation of the Sproat Farm. The farm offers access to walking trails for elementary school students, as well as opportunities for local hiking. Natural Lands also acquired 12 acres of land in East Brandywine Township, as well as the 35 acre McCaffrey Easement in West Brandywine Township.
In terms of restoration, the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance completed the third and final phase of the Plum Run Stream Restoration project in East Bradford Township this past year. This portion included 905 feet of highly impaired stream corridor, for a total project restoration of 4,470 ft. And we can't forget the county's 2021 Open Space Summit (held in April), which provided updates on the county's open space achievements!
The White Clay Creek Watershed's Catch the Rain Program — a voluntary program encouraging property owners to implement projects such as rain barrels, tree plantings, and native plant gardens — saw continued success in 2021. Additionally, the county's Municipal Stormwater Summit served as the first Watershed Plan Advisory Committee meeting for the update to the Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan and Ordinance. The Chester County Water Resources Authority also worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service to complete the Beaver Creek Flood Control Dam in East Brandywine Township.
In October of 2021, the county adopted the new Climate Action Plan, providing a blueprint for reducing the county's greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency. Other initiatives included work done for the Municipal Outreach for Natural Resources Protection, the annual Earth Day celebration, East Marlborough's Open Space, Recreation & Environmental Resources Plan, and Westtown Township's Official Sewage Facilities Plan.
The Historic Tredyffrin Barn and Jones Log Barn Living History Center, which will showcase farm life in the 18th-century in Chester County as well as Tredyffrin's role in the Revolutionary war and the process of preserving a historic barn, was restored and relocated in 2021. Additionally, the Kennett Heritage Center opened at the historic Dr. Isaac D. Johnson House on North Union Street in Kennett Square, and, a unique story in itself, Penn Township's Red Rose Inn in Penn Township welcomed visitors for the first time in more than a decade.
Capitol Seniors Housing completed the Arbor Terrace senior housing development in Exton in the spring of 2021, continuing a gradual transformation of Oaklands Corporate Center into a mixed-use community from a 1980s office park. Also, CCPC hosted the 2021 Housing Forum, "What's our type? Missing Middle typologies to meet housing needs" in November of 2021. Presentations focused on local Missing Middle typologies and approaches for municipalities to encourage Missing Middle Housing.
The Grove at Malvern faced many challenges with the ongoing pandemic. Despite this, they were able to remain open offering a diverse mix of businesses offering everything from cuisine, to fitness and health. Additionally, the Philadelphia Inquirer featured an impressive article in 2021 about the Oxford Produce Auction, which is noted for reviving small family farms in western Chester and Lancaster counties.
CCPC posted eTools addressing Main Streets, Outdoor Dining, and Home-based businesses in 2021 to help guide municipalities on how to best regulate zoning ordinances and other challenges when addressing these topics.
In April of 2021, Downingtown's former Chestnut Street Bridge (a nearly 100-year-old landmark) reopened as the Bill Mason Bridge, reconnecting people to the neighboring municipalities of Downingtown Borough and East Caln Township.
In October 2021, Gov. Tom Wolf, along with several office holders and officials, shoveled and tossed dirt to mark the groundbreaking for the new Coatesville train station. Another exciting effort under the Connect goal — more than 15 homes, schools, and businesses joined to form the largest local tour as part of the American Solar Energy Society's (ASES) 26th Annual National Solar Tour in the summer of 2021.
CCPC distributed a Suburban Landscapes Design Guide which provides guidance for suburban locations where new development is most likely to occur. West Chester's Pinckney Hill Commons, an affordable housing community in West Chester which includes 10 townhomes and a four-story 41-unit apartment building, was also completed.
And finally, the county's Vision Partnership Program (VPP) celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021. Over the past 25 years, the VPP has leveraged more than $12 million in funds to municipalities throughout the county in support of planning.
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