Measuring Success

How we LIVE

2020

The Landscapes3 Live Goal is to "Nurture diverse and well-rounded communities with a balance of residential opportunities and convenient access to community facilities, services, and amenities." The following success stories represent key examples of how this goal 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.

PhotoChester County Census 2020 Complete Count Committee

From January through October 2020, the Planning Commission coordinated the county's Census 2020 Complete Count Committee, a group of stakeholders whose mission was to encourage participation in the 2020 Census. Chester County's response rate was 78.3%, the second highest of all counties in the Commonwealth. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Collaboration Vision, "Promote effective multi-municipal and partner cooperation."

PhotoSpring Planners' Forum

In March 2020, the Planning Commission held its Spring Planners' forum at the Brandywine Conservancy. Presentations addressed the Brandywine Creek Water Trail, services of the Chester County Economic Development Council, and the need for diversified missing middle housing, such as duplexes and townhouses in Chester County. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Housing Diversity Vision, "Provide for diverse and affordable housing meeting the needs of all residents."

PhotoIncreases in New Apartment Complexes

During 2020, tenants filled several newly built apartment complexes. In Phoenixville Borough, 48 units built in 2019 came on the market, while 171 units became available in East Pikeland Township. Hanover Square in Exton opened 342 apartments. Meanwhile, the 284 unit Eagleview Landing senior assisted living opened in Uwchlan Township, as did Kennett Square's Red Clay Manor development with 61 units of affordable senior housing. These developments help to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective A, "Provide opportunities for a diverse housing mix that complements community character and contributes to vibrant, safe, and inclusive neighborhoods."

PhotoExton Station Reconstruction Project

In March 2020, SEPTA completed the Exton Station Reconstruction Project, a complete renewal of station facilities. It included new ADA compliant ramps, restrooms, passenger waiting areas, lighting, covered bicycle parking, vehicle parking, and stormwater management. This project helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Recommendation 11, "Support human and social services to serve evolving community needs," as well as Landscapes3 Connect Objective C, "Provide universally accessible sidewalks, trails, and public transit connections to create a continuous active transportation network within designated growth areas, and develop multi-use trails to interconnect all communities."

PhotoCrosswalk Improvements at Route 100 in Exton

In summer 2020, the intersection of Route 100 and Commerce Drive in West Whiteland Township was reconstructed to improve the pedestrian crossing. The new design features a single crossing lane which will allow more time for pedestrians to cross. This improvement helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective C, "Support safe and accessible places for people of all ages and abilities, from children to seniors, through development of appropriate housing, community facilities, and amenities."

PhotoCOVID-19 Response Webinars

In June and July 2020, Chester County presented a series of webinars addressing how business communities can adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. These webinars addressed training employees, operating youth sports, avoiding liability, and operating safely during the pandemic. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective D, "Maintain and support coordinated systems and organizations for emergency services, human services, and public health to protect and enhance individual and community well-being."

PhotoLocal Farm Guide Spanish Edition

In August 2020, the Agricultural Development Council partnered with the Health Department and the American Heart Association to produce a Spanish language version of the county's annual Guide to Local Farm Products in Chester County. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Recommendation 7, "Promote increased access to fresh, healthy, and local food."

PhotoHopewell Big Woods Initiatives

In spring 2020, the Hopewell Big Woods Partnership joined with the Iron and Steel Heritage Partnership to conduct digital outreach in response to COVID-19. They distributed laminated flyers with QR codes that directed potential visitors to their web pages. These initiatives help to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective E, "Foster healthy living by supporting walkability and access to quality recreation options, and healthy and affordable food."

PhotoWalkability in Urban Trails

In 2020, work progressed in connecting the sidewalk grid of Phoenixville Borough with the multi-municipal trails that link into it. The paved trail bed extending from the Schuylkill Heritage Center to the county's Schuylkill River Trail is open to users, while nearby landscaping is ongoing. This project elps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective E, "Foster healthy living by supporting walkability and access to quality recreation options, and healthy and affordable food."

New Municipal Buildings

During 2020, several municipalities opened new municipal buildings. A new building was opened by East Pikeland Township in October and Valley Township in November. These buildings help to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective F, "Support access to quality educational opportunities and community facilities through development, maintenance, and promotion of appropriate facilities and programs."

PhotoCoatesville's new "Universal Design" Palmer Park

In 2020, Natural Lands received the Green and Sustainable Parks Award for their efforts on Coatesville's newly revitalized "Palmer Park." The park, which was completed in 2019, consists of design elements for both children and seniors to enjoy, as well as stormwater management and other environmentally-friendly features. This park helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Recommendation 10, "Enhance and expand recreational opportunities."

PhotoChester County Health Department Provides Community Health Services

Throughout 2020, the Chester County Health Department provided numerous community resources and clinical services including, but not limited to, free immunizations, the WIC program, maternal child health, drug and alcohol recovery, and "healthy lifestyle" resources. This helps to support Landscapes3 Live Recommendations 5 and 6, "Promote impactful public health policy and services," and "Promote healthy lifestyle choices."

Recreation Facilities Grants

In September 2020, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded grants to build municipal recreation facilities in East Brandywine, East Pikeland, Honey Brook, and Penn Townships, as well as Malvern and West Chester Boroughs. The largest grant was for an outdoor ice hockey rink and other outdoor courts in Penn Township. These grants help to implement Landscapes3 Live Recommendation 10, "Enhance and expand recreational opportunities."

PhotoEmergency Services Operations

2020 marked the first full year of upgraded facilities at the Emergency Services 9-1-1 Operations Center. This facility underwent a complete overhaul that was completed in late 2019. Key improvements included the purchase and installation of new consoles for 9-1-1 staff who are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Protect Recommendation 8, "Provide exemplary emergency services."

PhotoAnnual Housing Report

In June 2020, the Planning Commission released its annual Housing Report for the county which detailed 2019 housing data. In 2019, approximately 1,400 total new units were built, and the median home sale price was $355,000. The construction of multi-family apartments was lower than in previous years. This report helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective A, "Provide opportunities for a diverse housing mix."

PhotoWest Chester University Receives Nationwide Ranking for online MBA Program

In January 2020, U.S. News rated West Chester University's online MBA program as #47 in their list of top 50 programs nationwide. Additionally, the program came in at #29 for veterans. This helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective F, "Support access to quality educational opportunities and community facilities through development, maintenance, and promotion of appropriate facilities and programs."

PhotoMelton Center Affordable Housing

In June 2020, the County Commissioners awarded funding to assist in the construction of 41 affordable housing units on an undeveloped lot owned by the Melton Center in West Chester. By December 2020, groundbreaking had begun on this project which will be called the "Pickney Hill Commons Housing." This development helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective B, "Accommodate housing at costs accessible to all residents in locations close to job opportunities."

Chester County Hospital Expansion

In January 2020, the Chester County Hospital in West Chester opened a $300-million expansion. By spring, the hospital was operating 301 beds. This expansion will eventually include 15 operating rooms and 99 private inpatient rooms. This expansion helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective D, "Maintain and support coordinated systems and organizations for emergency services, human services, and public health to protect and enhance individual and community well-being."

PhotoPlanning tools facilitating housing diversity

During 2020, the Planning Commission posted housing related eTools on its municipal assistance web page. These eTools include guidance for affordable housing that accommodates the needs of farmworkers and their families, guidance for promoting diverse housing types such as apartments, townhouses, and twins through zoning ordinances, and guidance for affordably-priced homes, whose sales or rental prices require no more than 30% of household income. These tools help to implement Landscapes3 Live Recommendation 1, "Provide housing policy and ordinance assistance."

PhotoDiscount Grocery Store to Open in Exton

Renovations were completed in the summer of 2020 for a new discount grocery store, Lidl, which will open in the Main Street at Exton shopping center in 2021. Lidl is an international chain originating in Germany that is now expanding into select U.S. markets. This new store helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective E, "Foster healthy living by supporting walkability and access to quality recreation options, and healthy and affordable food."

Big Elk 55+ Community near Jennersville Hospital

Penn Township saw the addition of 204 new townhomes and villas with the completion of Ryan Homes' Big Elk 55+ community in 2020. This development helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective C, "Support safe and accessible places for people of all ages and abilities, from children to seniors, through development of appropriate housing, community facilities, and amenities."

PhotoHabitat for Humanity — West Grove Project

The Chester County Habitat for Humanity obtained a 6.8-acre parcel in West Grove to build eight affordably priced townhome buildings (with five units each) in 2019, and in 2020, four of the eight units were completed. This development helps to implement Landscapes3 Live Objective B, "Accommodate housing at costs accessible to all residents in locations close to job opportunities."

2019

During 2019, public and private organizations undertook various initiatives that helped to implement the Landscapes3 Live Goal, "Nurture diverse and well-rounded communities with a balance of residential opportunities and convenient access to community facilities, services, and amenities." The following success stories highlight some of the more notable initiatives.

PhotoHousing Choices Committee Convened

In September 2019 the 19-member Chester County Housing Choices Committee which consists of municipal representatives, land use professionals, housing advocates, and developers from throughout the county. The committee works to promote the planning and developing housing that is attractive, affordably-priced, adaptable, and aging-friendly. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 recommendation, "Identify new approaches for affordable housing."

Photo"Creating A+ Homes" Housing Forum

In 2019, Municipal Historic Atlas maps were initiated by nine of Chester County's municipalities. These maps are compiled by municipal historical commission members and interested volunteers, to identify historic resources (buildings, structures, sites, and objects) that are at least 50 years old, as a starting point to follow the guidelines of the National Register of Historic Places. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 recommendation, "Update historic resource inventories."

PhotoSteeltown Village opens in Phoenixville

In 2019, the Steeltown Village development opened in Phoenixville in 2019, providing affordable workforce housing for lower-income residents. Steeltown Village consists of 48-units on 3.2 acres. The investment for the development was $12.6 million, including contributions from both Chester County and the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 recommendation, "Explore public/private partnerships for workforce housing."

Goal Objectives Recommendations