TOWNSHIP TO UPDATE ITS COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Municipal comprehensive plans are a land use planning tool authorized under the PA Municipalities Planning Code to create a set of policies and recommendations to help guide future development, redevelopment, and conservation. Comprehensive plans can also be used to identify problems created by various land uses, identify needs to be met in the community, and to pursue new opportunities. Some of the topics that can be addressed in this type of plan are roads and traffic circulation, parks and recreation, sidewalks and trails, local economic development, and opportunities for new types of housing. The Board of Commissioners have chosen to focus on an “Implementable Comprehensive Plan”, which is style of plan that will focus on addressing current conditions and implementing projects that will hopefully raise the quality of life for business and residents through 2025. This planning process is being guided by a Steering Committee headed by Commissioner Ed Troxell.
During the summer and fall of 2018 residents and business were given the opportunity to express their needs, help identify problems, recommend solutions, and paint a picture of the future of the township by participating in the update of the Township Comprehensive Plan. The “Swatara Community Survey” was attached to the Summer 2018 edition of the township newsletter and was available online. A total of 342 responses were received, and a summary of the results is available by clicking on the attachment.
The responses to the survey are being used a guiding light to help determine problem areas, needs, and desires. In evaluating the responses, the Steering Committee noticed three general areas where people expressed concerns and ideas, and they are 1) Transportation – Congestion Mitigation and Safety; 2) Improving Neighborhoods; and 3) Economic Development & Municipal Facilities. Township staff is now working with the Committee and the Township Planning Commission to create a list of implementable projects that may have already been started and new initiatives that will also held address the issues. The first draft of the “Initial Summary List of Potential Projects” will be available soon.
The Board of Commissioners want to engage citizens in discussions about projects they should act on, what they should change as far as ordinances and policies, and how they can help achieve a better future for all. The Township Planning Commission will act as a sounding board and help develop and evaluate options. Citizens are encouraged to attend any of the regular public meetings of either Board to speak their mind and provide input. A timeline for the completion of the plan is shown below as an attachment. If you want to stay engaged in the process and receive email notifications of meetings and draft documents send an email to Robert Ihlein, Director of Planning and Zoning, at firstname.lastname@example.org.