Chester County is celebrating an exciting milestone this year with the 25th anniversary of the Vision Partnership Program (VPP). In recognition of October as National Community Planning Month, the Chester County Commissioners have issued a formal proclamation noting the importance of the county’s local and regional planning initiatives, such as the VPP.
The VPP is Chester County’s primary means of partnering with municipalities to advance the implementation of Landscapes3, and was established in 1996 by the Chester County Board of Commissioners. Since its creation, the VPP has played an important role in many of Chester County’s municipalities through its cash grant and county consulting services.
The VPP helps municipalities plan for the future and protect their high quality of life, balancing growth and preservation through comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and a variety of special studies. To date, the VPP has leveraged more than $12 million in funds to Chester County municipalities, including $6 million distributed in cash grants, $2 million in technical assistance, and $4 million in municipal and private contributions.
“East Bradford Township has benefitted from the County’s Vision Partnership Program numerous times since the program’s inception,” noted Mandie Cantlin, East Bradford Township Manager. “Some of the most notable partnerships have involved long-range planning projects, like comprehensive plans and master plans. These projects can be daunting and intimidating, but the County’s assistance – both financial and technical – makes these important visioning efforts feasible…even enjoyable!”
The Chester County Planning Commission created a new interactive map that indicates what types of VPP projects municipalities have participated in since the program’s creation in 1996. Check out the map here.
Additionally, a new short video showcases what some of the county’s partners have to say about the VPP. See the video here.
National Community Planning Month is an initiative through the American Planning Association (APA). As stated on APA’s website, “Planners work to improve the well-being of all people living in our communities by taking a comprehensive perspective. This approach leads to safer, resilient, more equitable, and more prosperous communities. We celebrate the role that planning plays in creating great communities each October with National Community Planning Month.”
To learn more about National Community Planning Month, visit planning.org/ncpm/.
To learn more about the county’s Vision Partnership Program, including a list of funded projects, guidelines, and more, visit chescoplanning.org/MuniCorner/vpp.cfm.