UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State Extension webinar will focus on a recent research report from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and the evolving role of counties in meeting the planning needs of rural communities.
Presenting the 75-minute webinar at noon July 20 will be Dorothy Dewey, a professor of planning and chair of the Geography and Planning Department at West Chester University, and Dan Glotz, with the Warren County Planning Department.
Since 2001, several changes in Pennsylvania have impacted local planning environments, including statewide demographic and economic shifts and several state-level legislative actions aimed at strengthening local planning capacity. The past two decades also have seen an increased attention to smart growth, sustainable development and hazard-mitigation planning.
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania recently published a research report titled “Planning in Rural Pennsylvania: Analysis of the Use and Effectiveness of Municipal Land-Use Tools.” Based on two statewide surveys and a selection of interviews, the study analyzed the use of planning tools across rural and urban counties and municipalities in Pennsylvania.
“Since 2000, counties across the commonwealth have become more involved in comprehensive planning, geographic information system services, hazard mitigation planning, solid waste management, emergency management planning and stormwater management planning, among other activities,” said Dewey, one of the study’s authors. “In addition, findings from the study show that most rural municipalities lack planning capacity, and in many cases, rely on counties for planning support.”
Glotz will explain how land-use planning tools are used in Warren County. These tools include comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, floodplain regulations and stormwater ordinances. He also will discuss common barriers to land-use control implementation in rural communities and counties.
The webinar will cover key study findings on the current nature of rural planning and land-use regulation, as well as other municipal approaches to managing the physical environment. In addition, presenters will discuss perceived barriers to effective planning and offer recommendations to address the barriers, with a particular focus on the implications and opportunities for county planning departments.
“Planning in Rural Pennsylvania in 2020: Analysis of the Use and Effectiveness of Municipal Land Use Tools” is the first webinar in the monthly Penn State Extension Summer/Fall 2022 Land-Use Webinar Series that runs through November. The series informs municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers, and community organizations about land-use issues and decisions in their communities.
Other topics and dates in the webinar series include the following:
— Aug. 17: “Dealing with Difficult Issues.”
— Sept. 21: “Missing Middle Housing.”
— Oct. 19: “Green Corridors, Blue Corridors: Planning to Protect Our Natural Assets.”
— Nov. 16: “Hazard Mitigation Planning.”
All programs will be recorded and available for future viewing.
The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost also is $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits.
In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing-education credits for a fee of $65.
For anyone interested in a particular topic from the series, individual session registration is available for a fee of $15 per session.
–Penn State Extension