PT hammers out comprehensive plan

A comprehensive plan is described as a long-range plan intended to guide the growth and development of a community.

"Basically, it’s a vision of the community and the residents here who know Pleasant Township," said Chairman Keith Goldhardt. "It is how they view the community and where they would like to see it go not just now, but five or10 or 15 years down the road."

It also studies constraints and opportunities in relation to environmental factors, land use, recreation and economic development.

"We’ve been working on this new plan since January of 2007," said Lori Wade, who is a member of the Pleasant Township Comprehensive Plan Review Committee. The Comprehensive Plan Review Committee is commonly referred to as a steering committee.

The 12 members that make up the steering committee asked residents through surveys and focus groups to voice their concerns about the township and give their input on ways to make the quality of life better.

At the March 11 Pleasant Township Board of Trustees meeting, a brief outline was given by the Franklin County Planning Department about their latest updates (in collaboration with the steering community), as well as a date where community members can go to view their plans, hear more about them and voice their opinion on these matters.

"This meeting is our way to say, ‘this is what the Pleasant Township people want to see in their township,’" Goldhardt said.

The presentation on March 27 will include discussions about commercial, conservation and residential development, farmland, environment, road improvement and transportation.

"There is a wide variety of people and interest in Pleasant Township, but we can’t have separate plans for everybody," said Ben Weiner of the Franklin County Development Department. "It’s going to involve a certain give and take but we want people to be satisfied or very satisfied with the plan."

Regarding commercial development, Weiner said the topic residents are paying a lot of attention to is Interstate 71 and Harrisburg Pike. The plan would allow retail shops, office spaces and heavier commercial spaces to take up residence along this highly trafficked area.

"I would call it a commercial development with conditions."

Another hot button issue was transportation and the speed limits on rural roads in the township.

"Roads and speed is what people were most concerned about," said Weiner. "Townships have no ability to lower the speed limits."

However, county and state legislatures do have that ability.

"We have to try to influence the decision makers to help their problem get taken care of," Weiner said.

As all of these topics were briefly touched upon, a more in-depth presentation will be given at Pleasant View Middle School on March 27. The doors open at 6:30, with the presentation starting at 6:45. After the presentation, community feedback will begin at 7 p.m. and will run to 8 p.m.

"I encourage everyone to come and talk about the plan," Goldhardt stated. "It’s important to stay up to speed with it."

Pleasant View Middle School is located at 7255 Kropp Road.

Correction

In the March 2 edition of the Southwest Messenger, the article covering the Pleasant Township Board of Trustees meeting for Feb. 26 stated that the fire department average 67 medical runs per year. The correct sentence was supposed to be; in 2007, the fire department averaged 67 medical runs per month.

"I think it would be hard to justify a new medic if we were only making 67 runs a run," said Fire Chief Jay Noojin. "We ended up making 81 medical responses in February alone."

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