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Warwick Twp. adopts IMPACT 2017 plan
GARY P. KLINGER Review Express Correspondent
, Staff Writer
Warwick Township become the latest local municipality to vote in support of IMPACT 2017, which is the latest update to the strategic plan for a region roughly equal to that of the Warwick School District.
Supervisors first held a required public hearing in which the details of the plan were presented and at which local residents were given the opportunity to raise questions and raise any concerns.
No residents were present to offer testimony in the hearing.
Impact 2017 is the culmination of a several-year joint effort between the township, Lititz Borough and Elizabeth Township to consider a wide range of regional issues – from transportation to environmental protection, business and residential growth, to the preservation of historic resources. It is the multi-municipal comprehensive plan for each of the partnering municipalities, which sets the goals and objectives for the next five years.
"This is not so much of a fresh sheet plan as an update to what has been in place now for several years," explained Warwick Township Manger Dan Zimmerman. "This is now the third such update to the regional plan, the first of which was issued in 2000."
The mountainous set of documents which details the efforts and plans contained in IMPACT 2017, can be found at the township website, warwicktownship.org.
The challenge for local leaders and residents alike is to boil down the collective efforts of countless individuals and several committees, numerous meetings and express them in a few key points.
Zimmerman helped to bring the vastness of the plan down to size.
"Elizabeth Twp. decided to join, making the plan a true school district-wide comp plan with the three municipalities," Zimmerman stated. "The plan consists of a large amount of demographic data created by the 2010 census."
Accordingly, the plan outlines new objectives for the next five years. There are three standing committees that have membership made up from each of the three participating municipalities.
Those objectives have been divided into five key areas: Housing and Development, Built and Natural Infrastructure, Community Services and Quality of Life, Economic Development and Education and Outreach. Zimmerman explained that under each of these five areas listed are listed from five to 10 objectives.
"The value of the comp plan is to insure reduced risk of duplication, greater efficiency, and regional planning," noted Zimmerman, who added that many issues do not recognize municipal boundaries and as such, are regional challenges.
"Core values within the plan are a plan for balanced growth and greater effort toward sustainability," Zimmerman said. "This plan is one of a handful in Pennsylvania to have moved to a third phase of implementation."
What makes this third phase so anticipated in the greater Lititz areas, is that during the last two phases, over 70 percent of the listed objectives were completed.
"The plan has been very successful and has served the regional community well," added Zimmerman.
Supervisors were supportive of the effort from the very start, noting the large number of volunteer community members who participated in the many meetings which led to this draft resolution. In particular, they noted that a large number of the resident volunteers were in their 20’s and 30’s and indicative of a huge spirit of civic interest and duty. They also noted the number of comments received via Facebook which were also included in the group’s proceedings.
Elizabeth Township voted to approve the plan as well at its May 13 meeting but it was by split decision. Lititz Borough is slated to vote at its May 28 meeting.
The impressive list of steering committee volunteers included:
Sue Barry (Lititz Borough Manager), Jeff Burkholder, Bob Navitski, Eileen Lieberman, R. D. Buckwalter, Ken Kauffman, Brian Donmoyer, Bill Coleman, Logan Myers (chairman, Warwick Township Board of Supevisors), Zimmerman, Steve Lee, Dick Bergey, Tom Zug, Brittany Smith, Brian Wiker (chair, Elizabeth Township Supervisors), Darryl Miller, Mike Vigunas (Warwick Township Supervisor), Karen Weibel (president, Lititz Borough Council), Patrick Mould, Scott Shaub, John Hohman, Scott Hain (Lititz Borough Council), Rodney May (Elizabeth Township Supervisor), Dr. April Hershey (district superintendent, Warwick School District), Chief Bill Seace (Lititz Police Chief), Chief David Steffen (Northern Regional Police Chief), Jim Wenger, Kelly Withum (director, Venture Lititz), Gaylord Poling, Arline Shannon, Jeff Tennis, Karen Harnly, John Peris, James Simmermon, Nate Ohme, Susan Tennant, Fred Esbenshade, James Machado, Curt Evans, Alex Piehl, Roger Esbenshade, Matt Clair, Greg Bomberger, Greg Wilson, Sherry Garman, Todd Kauffman, Wade Hartz, Karen Mailen, Hans Derr, Curt Strasheim, Bob Lamb, and Frank Kenavan.
The vote on the plan was unanimous.
More WARWICK TWP., page A15