Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Peek Into the Future

What will Montgomery County be like in 2040? Attend a meeting Monday and help decide.

So what are the chances you have a few views on traffic?

How about parks and trails?

We KNOW you have views about housing.

Economic development as well.

So why not share them with people who can actually do something about them?

Your chance comes on Monday, April 21 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Photo by Evan Brandt
One of the comprehensive plan workshops held at 

Steel River Playhouse in November.
That's when representatives from the Montgomery County Planning Planning Commission will return to the borough to get input from residents on the Montgomery County Comprehensive Plan, now under construction.

The listening session will be held at Kingdom Life Church, 380 Walnut St., between North Charlotte and North Franklin streets in Pottstown.

In addition to listening to your input to help guide the writing of the comprehensive plan, county personnel will also update those who attend on the plan's progress.

If you're wondering what a comprehensive plan is, this link will take you to an 18-minute video in which County Planning Section Chief Brian O'Leary gives an overview.

The short version is this: The main purpose of a comprehensive plan at the county level is pretty simple: “to plan for those issues that transcend local boundaries,” things like highways, bridges, housing policy, economic policy, "said O'Leary.

You can find links to other comprehensive plans for Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia counties by clicking here.

The county released an 11-page draft of the plan's goals and themes last month, which you can read by clicking here.

If you like  maps, you can look at all sorts of trends in Montgomery County through a series of maps put together in preparation for this comprehensive plan by clicking here.

This will be the county's first visit back to the borough since November, when a listening session for the comprehensive plan was conducted at the Steel River Playhouse.

The 70-or-so people who gathered in the smaller theater there in November were participating in the first of four work sessions undertaken across the county by the Montgomery County Planning Commission as a way to gather input before embarking on the writing of the new comprehensive plan: “Montco 2040, A Shared Vision.”

The county outreach effort to get public input included workshops, like the one held in Pottstown, attended by over 150 people, 2,400 completed surveys, a strong web presence, and comments received through social media.

Many issues were raised during this process. The most important appeared to be transportation, jobs and the economy, infrastructure, revitalization, and taxes.

This will be the first new comprehensive plan since 2005 and it is hoped it will be completed by this time next year.

“We’re here to anticipate the future, decide where we want to be, and then to plan for it,” Jody Holton, the planning commission’s executive director.

For more information on this effort, visit

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