Approximately 20 years ago, I penned a River Talk column titled “The Planning Palette.” It opened this way: “An artist approaches a canvas and is faced with many choices. The colors …
Approximately 20 years ago, I penned a River Talk column titled “The Planning Palette.” It opened this way: “An artist approaches a canvas and is faced with many choices. The colors and their placement offer outcomes of near-limitless possibility. Similarly, such opportunity presents itself in the crafting of a county comprehensive plan.”
Every 10 years, Pennsylvania requires its counties to update such plans. Pike County is in the process of reenvisioning what its future might look like, as feedback is being gathered through a community survey in support of the “Imagine Pike County 2035 Comprehensive Plan.”
The resulting plan will inform the county’s vision and efforts for the decade by incorporating feedback gathered through the survey to guide planning for natural and cultural resources, housing, community facilities, roads, utilities and more.
The quality of the final plan will depend on citizen participation. In a sense, we are being handed a brush and asked to contribute our individual perspectives to the collective canvas we paint for the future of Pike County.
Please make it a priority to participate in the process by completing the survey before the end of May. The estimated 15 minutes needed to bring your voice to the overall vision is vital. As you complete the survey, let your senses guide you. Some questions to consider:
What is it you wish to see as you make your way around Pike County? Are long stretches of forest, scenic views and undeveloped ridgelines important? Would you prefer the convenience of strip malls and big box stores? Do you value our rural character or are you OK with adopting the appearance of many American suburbs in order to gain more fast food and shopping opportunities?
Likewise, what do you wish to hear? Laughter drifting from people enjoying our waterways, birdsong rising from marshy sedges, wind whispering through hemlock boughs? Should we seek environmentally sound recreation opportunities to promote more eco-tourism and green lodging? Should we pave more of our forestlands or plan for their protection?
What is it you wish to touch and to taste here? Where would you prefer to see homes, hospitals and schools? What roads and their traffic flows present problems? What might the solutions look like?
How can we maintain a life of quality with intensifying development pressures? A plan that is current is a good place to start. Speak up for what you love about where you live. Encourage your friends and neighbors to share their views, too.
The deadline to respond to the survey is Wednesday, May 31. Visit PikePA.org to learn more. Take the online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/WVJCM3V or obtain a hard copy from Mike Mrozinski, planning director for Pike County, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570/296-3500.
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