This Comprehensive Plan for the Borough of West Chester is intended to serve as a policy guide for future decision making. The plan was prepared to develop a set of actions and strategies to accommodate future change in an orderly and efficient manner and ensure that the future mix of land uses, public facilities, infrastructure and services meets the demands of present and future residents and businesses in the Borough. The plan will serve as a basis for zoning decisions and other land development review and approval criteria and procedures. The preparation of the Comprehensive Plan began in 2014. It was guided by a Task Force that was appointed by the Borough Council. The members of the Task Force represented various sectors and interests in the Borough of West Chester. Additional input was gathered from stakeholder interviews, two Town Hall visioning sessions, and comments received at public meetings. Based on the input, the Task Force established five goals of this plan, including the following:
- Promote community and economic vitality in a manner that maintains a high quality of life, ensures adequate community facilities and services, and supports existing buildings and neighborhoods
- Ensure a sustainable future, including ecosystem restoration, energy conservation and renewable energy generation
- Protect the unique historic character and pedestrian scale of the Borough
- Coordinate well-planned development and redevelopment in context with Borough scale and capacity directed to suitable areas within the urban center
- Strengthen community partnerships with West Chester University to collectively address a range of issues related to preserving quality of life in the Borough
Based on the goals, five priority Focus Areas were identified. These are areas of priority planning concern in the Borough. Each Focus Area has a set of recommendations and related strategies. Priority Focus Areas include:
- Community and Economic Vitality
- Environmental Sustainability
- Preservation of the Historic Character
- Future Enhancement Areas
- West Chester University
A set of recommendations was developed for each of these areas, along with an implementation plan of specific strategies and actions related to each recommendation. The Comprehensive Plan for the Borough of West Chester has been prepared in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, and current best planning practices. The plan includes elements for historic, cultural and environmental resources, a demographic analysis, community facilities and services, transportation, housing, economic development, land use, intergovernmental cooperation and implementation. It also provides a Revitalization Plan for the Borough. The Comprehensive Plan for the Borough of West Chester will serve as a guide to both the public, private and not-for-profit sectors concerning the Borough’s development and growth. As a general plan, it is intended to provide policies and principles that can be applied to meet the needs of the Borough, while also being consistent with Landscapes 2, Chester County’s Comprehensive Plan.
You can read the entire plan here.