Closing 2023 and Planning for 2024 through Landscapes3
Posted January 4, 2024
Landscapes3, the county's comprehensive plan for growth and preservation, reached its fifth anniversary in November, 2023. Over the past five years, Landscapes3 has served the community very well, providing a strong planning foundation for partners around the county. Our community has remained strong and resilient despite the pandemic and its impact, and Landscapes3 has continued to provide a useful roadmap for those facing challenging planning issues.
In particular, it's great to see us making headway on many of the challenging planning issues we have faced, which sometimes seem intractable. During 2023, we saw progress on many fronts, including:
- Greater acceptance of sustainability goals and the need for clean energy, including county participation in a regional consortium for eventually purchasing clean energy;
- Acknowledgement by many partners and municipalities that housing affordability is an issue, with willingness of some to change their zoning to address this issue;
- SEPTA once again affirming that it will return service to Coatesville and actually starting to put money behind this effort;
- The Federal Rail Administration supporting the return of passenger rail service to Phoenixville and Pottstown by including this service in the Corridor ID funding program;
- DVRPC conceptually agreeing to put Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) funding into the Circuit Trails, with $30 million to be set aside for the extension of the Chester Valley Trail on the P & T Corridor to Downingtown;
- The stage set for full cooperation and, hopefully, significant fundraising to bolster the heritage sites network in the county;
- Revitalization taking off in Coatesville, with a number of new businesses on Lincoln Highway;
- The opening of a transit-oriented development, River Station, in Downingtown; and
- Much, much more.
None of this progress would have been possible without the excellent work done by all the partners around the county. In 2024, the planning commission will continue this work and will be focused on implementing our many recent and upcoming plans, which include climate change, agricultural economic development, freight, public transportation, trails, and heritage tourism plans, as well as Landscapes3. There's another exciting planning year ahead of us in 2024!