Meeting Summary – 2/22/2017
The PRPC’s main order of business was the regional comprehensive plan. The original plan was developed in 2008. Under the current iteration, there will be improvement of 500 mi of regional trails by 2025 (about 180 mi remaining) and 750 total mi by project completion in 2045. Further talk on the plan was tabled until after the official business of the evening had concluded. There was a workshop held after the meeting.
The newly formed Phoenixville Regional Transportation Committee (PRTC) will be making a presentation in the next couple of months to the PRPC. The PRTC is in initial development stages and will provide regular reports on progress.
With both K-Mart and Sears struggling at the corporate level, the PRPC briefly discussed options for possible replacements for the Phoenixville Borough stores. A developer may be interested in converting the K-Mart location to drive-in storage, but there was some question as to whether it would be too close to the new storage facility over on PA-113 to warrant a need. The facility is too large for most lessees and Giant holds a non-compete contract for that shopping center. This agreement presents a barrier for entry to other grocery chains.
The proposed eco-village in East Pikeland faces zoning challenges. Ordinance in the township would need to be updated to allow for development to proceed beyond planning stages. There appeared to be general support for the concept.
Schuylkill Township has received a request for approval of a traffic study. The 50-acre property at the Valley Forge Conference Center is being eyed by national developer EPG for a continuing care retirement community composed of more than 400 units. They would likely use data collected from the study to bolster their case for limited impact on rush hour traffic on PA-23. This project is still in initial planning stages. I would readers that this project requires rezoning of the property from R-1 (residential use with one home per acre) to accommodate higher density of anywhere from 8-10 residential units per acre.
Schuylkill Township also made mention of wireless communications services that are utilizing loopholes to place poles in the township Right of Way (RoW). Guidance was offered by East Pikeland regarding an ordinance to diminish the impact of these wireless transponders in the township RoW.
Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan – Workshop #2
Immediately after the monthly PRPC meeting, a workshop on the regional comprehensive plan was held. The workshop presented a very high level overview of challenges in the region. The presentation consisted mainly of land use maps, soil maps, and population studies derived from Delaware Valley RPC data. Most of the maps will require “ground truthing” to verify current use. Municipality representatives were asked to help identify mislabeled areas for the next meeting. The population studies generally show a trend towards major growth of the Phoenixville region over the next 25 years. It was suggested and agreed upon that the Phoenixville Area School Board, as an interested party, should be invited to PRPC meetings moving forward. Documents for the regional comprehensive plan will be forwarded to the school board members as they become available.
PRPC General Info
The Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee (PRPC) represents a collaborative effort to address the development goals of the Phoenixville region. The group consists of 5 members who are each representative supervisors appointed from the following municipalities: Schuylkill Township, Charlestown Township, Phoenixville Borough, East Pikeland Township, and West Vincent Township. More info may be found in the PRPC archives.