Forging Forward: Final meeting set for Thursday

By on September 20, 2017

Starting in March, Elizabeth Township, Lititz Borough, and Warwick Township began the process of updating their regional comprehensive plan, originally called IMPACT 2017.

The three municipalities, all within the Warwick School District, began the public outreach and feedback portion of the comprehensive plan update, “Forge the Future 2022.”

A virtual who’s who of area leaders in government, business, economics, and education have attended informational gathering of “Forge the Future 2022,” aimed at updating the area’s comprehensive plan to shape future growth in the region.

The meetings, which discussed economic development issues with those leaders provided discussion of massive data accumulated by Derck & Edson.

It included profiles of the retail marketplace by breaking down retail goods and services expenditures.

Billy Clauser, Warwick Township planner, said the five public meetings held so far distributed information, provided feedback, and “ultimately assist with developing the draft goals and strategies.”

The first meeting or “kick-off meeting” was held at the Appalachian Brewing Company, which gathered information through various exercises and networking.

The regional comprehensive plan captured the region’s vision for the next five to ten years and outlines a series of strategies, prompting the participating communities to continue to work toward achieving a shared future.

“Our consultants were seeking input on the issues facing our region and celebrate the successes from past planning efforts,” Clauser said in an e-mail. “The second meeting was held at Rock Lititz Pod 2, which focused on economic development by sharing data regarding where and how consumer’s money is spent in and around the region.”

The third meeting was held at Brick Gables, which focused on housing by sharing housing data for the region and also giving the attendees the opportunity to participate in an exercise on their housing preferences.

The fourth and fifth meetings were presented in a panel format with eight panelists at each meeting. The fourth meeting was held at the Brickerville Fire Company with a focus on community services and quality of life.

The fifth meeting was held at the Millport Conservancy with a focus on the built, natural, and historic resources in our region.

The panelists shared information on the means and methods of what it takes for their organization to provide essential services and the challenges that they face.

The sixth and final public workshop meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Warwick Middle School Auditorium. This public workshop will review the draft goals and strategies for the next five years. The Warwick Middle School auditorium is located at 401 Maple Street, Lititz.

This vision of the future is not influenced by elected officials alone, but has been shaped through the joint efforts of volunteers made-up of many of the region’s stakeholders, Clauser noted.

This will be the fourth update to the plan. Past editions have assisted in the formation of various initiatives and organizations in the region, such as: Warwick Emergency Services Commission (WESC), Warwick Regional Recreation Commission (WRRC), Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department (NLCRPD), Venture Lititz (downtown Main Street program), Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail, farm preservation, infrastructure improvements, and historic resource analysis.

Throughout the process of updating the comprehensive plan this year, there was additional efforts to increase accessibility and public participation through online outreach.

This initiative will be possible with the assistance of Listrak, a Lititz-based email marketing company, who has offered their services gratis to the three municipalities.

Listrak also created the logo for the comprehensive plan and is in the process of creating a Facebook page and blog, both of which will allow you to see the periodic updates and provide input.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer and social media editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *