LACKAWAXEN COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND VISIONING PROCESS
Lackawaxen Updates Comprehensive Plan - Prepares for Future
Lackawaxen Supervisors approved appointing Johnson, Miriam, and Thompson (JTM) of York, Pennsylvania, at a township regular township meeting held at the municipal building on Township Road, off Route 590. JTM has relevant expertise in comprehensive planning and open space planning for rural communities facing extraordinary growth.
Lackawaxen and Shohola Township by agreement designated the LSCAC to develop and implement the plan over the two years. LSCAC and each township held public meetings to gather public input. LSCAC and JMT held workshops to inform stakeholder groups to make everybody aware of the planning initiatives. After interviews with major stakeholders, JMT and LSCAC could then survey the public and conduct focus groups to get a full range of public input on the plan.
Lackawaxen is collaborated with Shohola Township to access close to $100,000 in state and county funds to develop the Comprehensive Plan. The outcome of the partnership is that each township will have their individual Comprehensive Plan paid for by state funds. Shohola approved hiring the same consultant in spring 2007.
Both townships formed a joint Lackawaxen-Shohola Citizens Advisory Committee (LSCAC), a volunteer board, consisting of four representatives from each township, to oversee the development of each plan. A two-page agreement between the townships outlined the scope and mission of the LSCAC.
LSCAC President Peter Wulfhorst, a former Pike County Planner and Vice President Tom Zetterberg, who heads the Pike County Open Space and Rural Character Preservation Advisory Board, attended the Lackawaxen Township regular meeting. Wulfhorst explained that the LSCAC consists of one township supervisor from each municipality, one planning commission member from each town, and two at-large-members from each township. Each township member has an alternate from that township.
Wulfhorst is a former Pike County Planner, with expertise in land use, groundwater preservation, developing visioning plans, and comprehensive plan. He co-authored the County Comprehensive Plan mandated by Pennsylvania and began a Pike County visioning process that led to the county adopting a Pike County Visioning Plan. Wulfhorst and Zetterberg bring previous Pike planning, open space, comprehensive plan, knowledge and technical skills on rural communities facing growth to the advisory board.
Wulfhorst also worked with planning expert Roy Borgfeld from Lehman Township to develop the county Vioning initiative. They also collaborated in Lehman Township on a long-term visioning process that led to Lehman developing a model comprehensive plan that has influenced many other communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The input of so many planning experts helped guide JTM to develop a solid plan for our future, according to Lackawaxen supervisors. Wulfhorst said that the LSCAC worked with the Pike County Office of Community Planning to develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) for this project. Shohola and Lackawaxen reviewed credentials, past accomplishments, and proposed approach to the project and chose the vendor that most closely meets the two community’s needs the best.
The Lackawaxen/Shohola Open Space, Recreation and Greenways Plan, one part of the Comprehensive Plan, is identical for both townships. Part of Pike County’s open space bond fund covers a portion of the joint municipal plan. A Pennsylvania Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) grant program will cover the balance of the overall Comprehensive Plan cost.
Wulfhorst said, "The Lackawaxen and Shohola Township boards of supervisors desire to preserve and enhance the quality of life, encourage beneficial growth and development, effectively establish public infrastructure integral to achieving the prior and future objectives, and enhance local land use and development regulations.
"Recognizing that such objectives are best pursued by cooperative involvement and planning, Lackawaxen and Shohola have adopted resolutions and a Multi-Municipal Cooperation Agreement, according to the standards of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), the state law that enables municipalities in Pennsylvania to conduct land use planning and adopt land-use ordinances."