Updating our West Chester Zoning Code
West Chester is a Home-rule Township. We can set and enforce our own Zoning code. With our growth, brings confusion. We are working on updating the code.
The Community Development Department is our Township Department that deals with Zoning. They also the core of our economic development department. This department is the front line on new businesses and developers coming into the township.
This week the Board of Trustees approved a request from the Community Development Department to find a company that will help guide us in a major overhaul of our zoning resolution which will bring our zoning code into the 21st Century.
Find our West Chester Zoning Code here.
Why update the code?
Our West Chester Zoning Resolution was first created in 1989 and has been amended 18 times. The amendments were all in reaction to something happening in the Township, never proactive. This update will look at current and future trends, keeping us up-to-date with businesses.
Many of the terms and definitions in our code are confusing. Over the past 30, we have had different authors of our code – staff, lawyers, Trustees. Some of the language is different. Some of the terminology is different. Because of this confusion, it is confusing to businesses and residents.
This update will make West Chester more business-friendly. It will give clear direction to business and residents regarding what our Township allows and where businesses can locate.
Significant legal costs have been incurred over the past several years due to ambiguous terminology within the existing Zoning Resolution. Several examples below are lawsuits the township has had to endure, costing thousands of dollars in legal fees and settlements.
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How will the revision work?
This will be a very public process. The Zoning Code is a decision of all of our residents on how we want our Township to function. It is important to have as many eyes as possible on this process.
There will be four public meetings on the changes to gauge citizen input on the process. West Chester staff will oversee the development of these new documents, with monthly updates on progress submitted to Township Administration and Trustees for review.
The update is expected to take a calendar year.
If you have any questions or comments on the upcoming changed, please let me know at email@example.com.