Aston Township, Delaware County PA

Vision Plan Implementation Committee

Aston-Seal-2014The Board of Commissioners is seeking volunteers to assist the Township engineer and administration to prepare amendments to the Aston Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and Sub-Division Land Development that will form the frame work for the implementation of the Aston Vision Plan. (See the scope of work below)

It is anticipated that the initial phase of the work will begin in March and that the final documents would be considered by the Board of Commissioners at the end of 2015.

The Board of Commissioners will appoint a volunteer committee at their meeting on February 18th.

Interested in serving on this committee? Send a letter of interest to:
Bill McConville, Township Manager
(610) 494-1636

bmcconville@astontownship.net

Aston Vision Plan - Scope Of Work
Understanding and Approach-Scope of Work.docx
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Understanding and Approach

While the analysis and recommendations for the Comprehensive Plan is more general in nature, the analysis of the commercial corridors considered for new zoning must be extremely detailed.

The Citizens Committee for this project will tour parts of the Township with representation from Pennoni Associates to make sure the committee’s perspective and learn their understanding of Township existing conditions. The public involvement plan will include the committee, general public meetings and focus groups to gather more detailed input of both the Comprehensive Plan tasks and the zoning tasks.

The Board of Commissioners will seek to involve constituencies that were missing from the 2014 Vision Plan process. The project will need to involve more business and property owners in the commercial corridors along Pennell and Concord so that these owner’s concerns including their ideas of how new overlay zoning can benefit their existing businesses or be a catalyst to revitalize and attract new businesses toward improving the overall economic outlook in Aston.

Additionally, input and advice of the Delaware County Planning Commission staff will be sought. The county Planning Commission is charged with reviewing both the Comprehensive Plan and the proposed zoning overlays.

Data Collection and Review

Pennoni Associates will review and analyze past reports and studies including all of those as listed in the RFP. They will also meet with Township staff and personnel to ascertain on-going planning studies and redevelopment trends in the area that may not yet be documented.

Township Reconnaissance and Analysis

Pennoni Associates will tour the Township with staff to gain an understanding of existing conditions and trends in the area. Areas of concern, areas of opportunity and areas of traffic congestion or other issues will be examined in the field. This initial reconnaissance will be supplemented by additional site visits later by Pennoni Associates and by information obtained during the planning process. In addition to talking with Township staff and officials, Pennoni Associates will speak with property and business owners about opportunities in the Township.

Transportation Data

There is a good amount of existing information about the existing transportation network. Pennoni Associates will analyze available information and confer with Township staff and officials to gain a thorough understanding of existing conditions and specific areas of concern. These factors may have an effect on zoning and SALDO ordinance provisions. The planned PennDOT road improvement projects must also be taken into account, especially the anticipated positive effects on Township traffic.

Craft Specific and Clear Goals and Objectives for Proposed Ordinances

One of the most important steps in developing good ordinances is to craft a succinct goals and objectives that capture the community intent. Pennoni Associates will work with the Township staff, the Board of Commissioners and public to clearly articulate the goals of the proposed ordinances as a starting point to the work. These goals should be specific and may vary from overlay location to overlay location.

Zoning Ordinance Mapping

Pennoni Associates will prepare the necessary mapping overlay for the various zoning districts that are created.

Design Guidelines

Pennoni Associates will prepare design guidelines for the overlay districts. These guidelines will be prepared in both written and graphic format to clearly illustrate the design intent and requirement. This process will start through reviewing with the Township other similar, existing ordinances to determine possible “models” for the Aston ordinances. It is anticipated that graphics will include graphics, sketches and elevations to show design intent. These guidelines will be prepared with the understanding that it will be desirable to voluntarily apply these to properties developed under the existing zoning.

Meeting/Citizen Involvement/Public Participation

The planning process must be inclusive and participatory. This is not only because it is an requirement of the TCDI grant, it is because the community will provide good input and idea. Pennoni Associates will be available to the community throughout the planning process. The planning process recommends a series of meetings to maximize the opportunity for residents, business owners and stakeholders to meaningfully participate in the development of the proposed ordinances.

The following meetings will be held:

  • Committee Meetings: 6
  • Business Owner Meetings: 4
  • Public Meetings: 4
  • Township Commissioner Meetings: 2
  • Township Planning Commission Meetings: 2
  • Meetings with Delaware County Planning: 2
  • Meetings With Township Staff: 8

Total Meetings: 28

Public Participation

Meetings with Township Staff
These eight (8) meetings are itemized on the proposed schedule at strategic points in the overall project process. These will be primarily work sessions with Pennoni Associates. Intermediate and preliminary drafts of ordinances will be reviewed and various strategies explored as to the contents, context and presentation of the ordinances.

Planning Commission Meetings
Two (2) meetings are proposed during which Pennoni Associate will work with the Township Planning Commission. For both the Comprehensive Plan and the ordinances, Planning Commission involvement is always a critical voice in the planning process.

Business and Property Owner Public Meetings
Four (4) public meetings are suggested during the first three (3) months of the work. These meetings will be to inform these stakeholders about the intent of the zoning overlays and to solicit opinions and suggestions.

Township Commissioners Meetings
Two (2) formal meetings with the Commissioners are shown on the schedule.

Delaware County Planning Commission Staff Meetings
Meeting with County planners staff twice during the process is also an important step. The County will review both the Comprehensive Plan and the proposed ordinances. It is best to keep County planners fully informed about the process and the reason for ordinance provisions so that their reviews are fully informed.

Committee Meetings
There will be six (6) meetings with the project committee over the course of the project. These work sessions will help Pennoni Associates develop the details of both the Comprehensive Plan and ordinances.

Public Meetings
Four (4) public meetings will be held. These will occur at strategic points in the planning process and will cover both the Comprehensive Plan and the proposed zoning ordinances.