Officials prepare for comprehensive plan

May 15, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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LANCASTER TWP — For the past two years, township representatives have discussed the importance of reviewing and updating the township's comprehensive plan — the last of which was adopted 15 years ago.

Benjamin Kramer, township manager, said the last plan, which was adopted in 2004, was a joint effort by Lancaster and Muddy Creek townships.

“It was important for a thorough review to occur,” Kramer said, “and with the landscape of this southwestern corner of Butler County changing, Lancaster Township saw the importance in moving forward with this monumental undertaking.”

Kramer added that many township residents and stakeholders have expressed an interest in participating in the planning process.

The committee has had one meeting and plans to hold another later in the month to gauge public opinion on where the township is going and what residents and business owners would like to see, said Michelle Brummer, senior planner at Gannett Fleming, the agency with which Lancaster partnered for the 2030 project.

Kramer said he hopes raising awareness of the plan will improve turnout for a May 22 event in which township officials will listen and collect public comments on the “priorities for planning.” The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the township community center and will be hosted by Gannett Fleming.

Brummer said the “pragmatic approach to managing growth” is in deciding where and when development occurs, so it can be shaped and managed within state planning laws without negatively affecting current residents and business owners. She added that anticipating future needs in infrastructure and community services without disrupting those that exist will be key.

“The folks on this committee appreciate (the community), but they also recognize that what's attracted them will attract others,” Brummer said.

The committee and community need to be prepared for additional development pressure, he said.

Kramer said the 11 committee members will spend the next eight months discussing land use, infrastructure, community services, quality of life and other significant changes.

The draft plan will likely be presented to the township planning commission in December or January, and will be followed by a public review period and final review period to be held by the supervisors before adoption, which is anticipated for summer 2020.

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Alexandria Mansfield

Alexandria Mansfield

Alexandria Mansfield is a community reporter at the Cranberry Eagle. She worked as a freelance reporter before joining the Eagle staff in July 2018. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania's journalism and public relations department in 2018 and from Wellsboro Area High School in 2015. While at IUP, she served as a reporter and editor at The Penn, the university's student-run, twice-weekly newspaper, and earned first place awards from Pennsylvania News Media Association and Pittsburgh Black Media Federation in 2017 and 2018, respectively, for her news coverage and investigative reporting.