Across the Alle-Kiski Planning District, we have unique attributes and opportunities to preserve, enhance and transform special places. At the September and October Planning District meetings, we heard about these places and mapped them for all 11 municipalities. Then we talked about their shared characteristics. From that process, we’ve developed a set of land use planning Principles, Objectives and Strategies.
The purpose of the land use planning exercise, just like the comprehensive plan, is to take steps that will attract, develop and retain a diverse and stable workforce that will sustain a healthy economy. The Principles, Objectives and Strategies help us do that in three ways.
First, Principles help us frame our decision-making process. They help us recognize the values of our communities and how they guide us as public officials.
Second, Objectives provide the context for understanding the local circumstances of the Alle-Kiski region. The objectives of the Alle-Kiski region are likely to be different than those of Central Westmoreland or the Ligonier Valley. In this way, we are looking to build off of local strengths, like the riverfront, that are unique to the region.
Lastly, Strategies offer us the “how” of the Objectives. For instance, the county comprehensive plan discussed the need for more housing options and better transportation choices. Addressing these two interrelated needs can be addressed through amendments to zoning ordinances and transportation projects, among many other strategies.
Our next step is to refine these strategies and make them useful for the communities of the Alle-Kiski Planning District. At the next meeting, we’ll be looking to confirm the substance of the Principles and Objectives with leaders of the region. After that, we’ll identify the specific strategies that can be useful to achieve the goal of the comprehensive plan.
"At the September 23, 2019 Reimagining Our Westmoreland meeting we spent sometime exploring the gray areas of regional cooperation.
While public officials at every level appreciate the benefits of intergovernmental cooperation, how it plays for them and their community depends on the various features of the proposal. Unfortunately, when it comes to entering into intergovernmental agreements, a yes or no vote is the only option. What if we could examine ideas and express our response on a range from "wholly endorsing" to "I would work against"? It would generate a lot more conversation, and that is what we set out to do.
At the September 23 meeting, we explored 4 hypothetical scenarios (made up by the facilitator) and asked participants to rate their approval on a range of responses. This was to generate some conversation. The tabulation is in. We will continue to hone in on opportunities at the November 7, meeting.