Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
It is a document that is shaped by the municipal community as a whole that establishes the community’s vision and values; guides future physical, social, and economic development; and, identifies policies and actions needed to achieve the vision within the realm of current municipal resources and capabilities. It basically sizes up where the township is in its entirety and then sets goals for where the township’s residents, business owners, and property owners want it to be in the future.
The Comprehensive Plan will be used as a foundation for land use regulations and is often followed by the implementation of zoning changes to ensure consistency between the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map. Furthermore, the updated Plan will be the basis for rendering subsequent updates to other linked planning documents.
What are we updating?
York Township and Spring Garden Township have partnered to update each municipal comprehensive plan. The goal of this joint comprehensive planning effort is to analyze both municipalities as a geographic area and recommend municipal and multi-municipal action(s), as appropriate, to coordinate regulatory, service, and capital improvement decisions. The plan furthers current cooperative efforts and includes new opportunities for intergovernmental approaches to the cost-effective delivery of government services.
How will it be updated?
Background information such as the existing condition and land use analysis utilizing Census information, community windshield surveys, and building and tax records will be collected to reveal the key demographic influences impacting our Township’s physical, economic, and social environments.
Influential issues and opportunities will be evaluated with the use of the background information.
As part of the initial Planning Commission meeting (held individually in each municipality), we will facilitate a discussion regarding the overall plan’s purpose, and its goals and objectives. These aspirational statements or targets will be used throughout the planning process to give context to issues and opportunities as well as to make informed and intentional decisions. At a minimum, goals and objective topics will be focused on land use, economic development to offset the burden of our residential taxpayers, mobility, infrastructure, communications, quality of life, public safety, and green space and recreation. Resident-oriented planning workshops will be scheduled to occur during the update process. The focus of these two-to-three-hour meetings is to stimulate dialogue and gauge reactions to potential solutions prior to the adoption stage of the planning effort. The workshops will be facilitated in successive cycles or rounds and are intended to immerse participants directly into the planning process. The conversations and insights of each round build upon the previous one(s).
We anticipate a community engagement survey to be placed on the Township website to receive input as to current concerns, aspirations, and reactions to planning concepts and ideas. This survey would be used to broaden and/or verify input received through the advisory committee and joint committee (Spring Garden Township and York Township committees).
How long will the process take?
The comprehensive planning process may take 12 to 18 months. The goal is to commence the process in early 2024.
What will the end result look like?
Rather than a planning document that strictly adheres to traditional comprehensive plan elements, the end goal is to adopt an implementable comprehensive plan that bases its structure around issues most important to the entire municipality while meeting the criteria essential to a comprehensive plan prescribed by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
An implementable plan should:
- Focus on relevant and actual Township issues and place emphasis on goals, objectives, and policies;
- Be structured by how local officials and citizens think (such as forming the plan around issues instead of document chapters; and meetings organized around the issues and work sessions for discovering solutions);
- Develop three to five recommendations that are reasonable and workable.
How do residents contribute ideas?
As part of the process of planning, a public participation program will be offered to residents including wide and varied ways to forward ideas for consideration. Before final acceptance, a public hearing will be advertised by the Board of Commissioners.
Comprehensive Planning Advisory Committee
The Spring Garden Township advisory committee for the Comprehensive Plan update will be comprised of the following members: one resident from each ward, one to two stakeholders from businesses located in the Township, and one Township Planning Commission member. Each member will be approved by the Board of Commissioners of Spring Garden Township.
The purpose of this advisory committee is to gather facts and make recommendations pursuant to the public good to the Planning Commission with regard to the Comprehensive Plan update; the Plan update process will be guided by the Consultant. The advisory committee meetings will be in-person. The Planning Commission will provide periodic updates to the Board of Commissioners with regard to the status of the Comprehensive Planning process as well as provide the overall recommendation of a draft plan for review.
Spring Garden Township residents and stakeholders interested in applying to be on the advisory committee should send a letter of interest addressing the components on page 3 of this document to the Spring Garden Township Boad of Commissioners.
Letter of interest shall include the following components (items 1 to 11):
- Telephone number
- Email address
- State the ward of residence, address of business, or Planning Commissioner
- Years resided in Spring Garden Township, or,
Number of years in business in Spring Garden Township
- Reasons for interest in being on the advisory committee
- Description of how your involvement will be instrumental in supporting the advisory committee
- The Plan update will serve the entire population of Spring Garden Township; provide a brief on how your participation in the process will serve the Spring Garden Township community as a whole
- Explain how these issues would rank in importance for property owners in Spring Garden Township: development of 1799 Mt. Rose Ave., traffic congestion in the Township, basketball at Violet Hill Park, and economic development/redevelopment in the Township
- Provide a general description of two to three issues that are affecting the constituency (residents, property owners, and businesses) of Spring Garden Township
Applications for prospective advisory committee members will be approved by the Board of Commissioners by means of vetting the letters of interest prior to participation on the comprehensive plan advisory committee.
Submit your completed letter of interest to email@example.com and indicate Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee in the email’s subject line.