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 Regional planning is first step


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Recently, representatives from the six Chester County municipalities that make up the Octorara School District came together to form a regional comprehensive plan. Over the past couple of weeks, those municipalities have adopted that plan, which targets urban centers, commercial growth and residential developments. It's a good first step.

But, it's only a first step.

Collectively, the hope is that municipal officials will be able to better manage the growth that is fast usurping the area. Individually, it gives municipal officials a voice in what does or does not happen in a neighboring municipality. A good case in point would have been the Wal-Mart anchored shopping center at Routes 10 and 30 in West Sadsbury Township. While West Sadsbury got the shopping center, the traffic has become a burden to not only that township, but to neighbors. We recall that when Sadsbury Township (Chester County) fought to have a say in the plans for the center, the attorney for the developer argued they weren't doing a shopping center in Sadsbury Township. With a regional plan in place, developers can no longer just close the door in a municipality's right to have their voice be heard.

At the same time, the plan should not be viewed as a dumping ground for one municipality to another municipality, such as putting all the industry in West Sadsbury. Each municipality still needs to do what is ultimately best for its own citizens, but we hope, with the plan, lines of communication that have been opened will remain open. The regional comprehensive plan could also open the door for municipalities to work together, collaborate, to help keep costs of services down... but that's going far beyond the first step.

We hope that municipal officials will use the regional comprehensive plan as a guide, and that it won't become just another document collecting dust in the file cabinet.


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Last modified: 12/01/07