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Pennsylvania Chapter of American Planning Association gives Planning Excellence award to Chester County

October 12, 2010

West Chester, PA -- The Chester County Commissioners have won the 2010 Planning Excellence award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association.

The award was in recognition of the public outreach process utilized by the county in developing Landscapes2, Chester County’s comprehensive plan. The awards committee said the county’s efforts to involve residents and land owners in the planning process exemplified the "best and brightest in Pennsylvania Planning for 2010."

The award was presented on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, in Lancaster.

The commissioners approved Landscapes2 last year. In preparing the plan, the Chester County Planning Commission solicited the advice of residents, municipal officials, agency personnel, landowners, and other interested persons. Meetings and focus groups were utilized to solicit information on major planning issues.

"Landscapes2 is now considered a model for other counties and municipalities throughout the State," said Chester County Commissioner Chair Carol Aichele. "The public outreach process is one of the main reasons."

A task force with more than 30 members met during a two-year period to examine issues and develop recommendations. Presentations were made and a web-based public opinion poll elicited more than 9,000 responses. An interactive website was developed that allowed residents to comment on drafts of the plan text and maps as they were developed.  

Highlighting the value of the Landscapes2 website, Commissioner Terence Farrell said, "This internet site makes the plan easily accessible to Chester County residents, using leading-edge technology to ensure that it remains current and informative. Its interactive capabilities and content reflect the information and requests we received during the public outreach process."

The completed document, along with background information on the process, can be found at

Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said: "The Chester County Planning Commission is to be commended for all of the work that has been undertaken to produce the Landscapes2 plan. This award is further recognition that the staff of the Planning Commission have achieved tremendous results – both in the way that the Plan was researched and written, and now in the way that it is managing the growth of the county."

The planning award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association is the second major honor the county has received this year in connection with Landscapes2.

Chester County Commissioner Chair Carol Aichele won the 2010 Courthouse Award for Urban Counties from the National Association of Counties for her work with the Landscape2 program.

Aichele was presented the award in July during the 75th annual NACo conference in Reno, NV. Chester County has been recognized nationally as being one of the best places in the nation to live, work and raise a family.

Chester County is the first county in Pennsylvania to initiate a strategic planning process and has a Aaa rating on its bonds from Moody’s Investors Service as well as AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. Established by William Penn as one of Pennsylvania’s three original counties, Chester County has been named by as one of America’s best places to raise a family and is ranked the healthiest county in Pennsylvania by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.



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