Update to the Township’s 2003 Comprehensive Plan
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE (2020)
To view a copy of the 2020 Selective Comprehensive Plan Update, CLICK HERE.
The Township Comprehensive Plan (adopted in 2003 along with subsequently adopted specific plan documents) is a policy guide for future development for the Township for approximately the next decade. It is a crucial document to guide recommendations and decisions of the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, as well as for decisions made by private developers, Township businesses and residents.
After reviewing the current documents, the Board of Supervisors determined that the Land Use and Housing Elements (plans) within the 2003 Plan were in need of updating. Many decisions have been made, developments proposed and built, and zoning changes have taken place in the period since the Plan’s adoption, making revisions necessary. Demographic changes and development preferences have also taken place, contributing to the need to update the Plan.
The Township issued a Request for Proposals in February 2017 and selected Bergmann Associates, PC to prepare the Land Use and Housing Element updates. The work on the updates began in August and will include the following tasks:
- Review the 2003 Comprehensive Plan and other relevant plan documents prepared by Whitemarsh Township in the past.
- Review the Township’s Zoning Ordinance and other relevant land use regulations.
- Review minutes and notes from the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee meetings.
- Supplement existing conditions information with the status of recent developments and land development proposals.
- Update demographic information to the extent necessary to provide a credible update to the Land Use and Housing Elements.
- Establish goals and objectives in collaboration with the Steering Committee with input from the Planning Commission.
- Review recent land development trends in the Township and consider these trends in formulating recommendations for the Update.
- Formulate a strategy for securing maximum public participation during the Update process.
- Recommend strategies for preservation of the Township’s golf courses with contingency recommendations should any become nonviable in the future.
- Recommend options for accommodating any contemporary land uses not currently recognized in the Township’s plans and land use regulations.
- Prepare a Housing Element that encompasses all the requirements of the PA Municipalities Planning Code; this Element shall address housing types, diversity, affordability, and density.
- Prepare a Land Use Element that encompasses all the requirements of the PA Municipalities Planning Code; this Element shall include a future land use plan that addresses land use type, location, and intensity, in addition to addressing community character (considering community image, gateways, etc.).
- Develop an ‘Action Plan’ which will prioritize the various recommendations throughout the Update document, indicating who would be the appropriate individual or board within the Township to have primary responsibility, whether consultants would be needed, and possible funding sources. The Action Plan should indicate which projects should be considered for upcoming operating budgets or to the Township’s capital program.
- Develop an ‘Action Plan’ which will prioritize the various recommendations throughout the Update document. The Action Plan would help determine projects which should be considered for upcoming the Township’s annual operating budgets or for the Township’s capital program.
The Update was reviewed by the Township Planning Commission during the latter portion of 2019 and in 2020 and a final draft was produced in the summer of 2020. After the Planning Commission held a Public Meeting in October, 2020, it made a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to adopt the Update. The Board held a Public Hearing on November 12, 2020 and adopted the Update at the conclusion of the hearing.