Chadds Ford Township residents will have a chance to learn firsthand what the responses were to an open space survey. There will be a special meeting for discussion of the survey results Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at the township building.
Also planned are two additional meetings between January and June for public input before a formal open space plan is adopted by the end of 2007, according to Tara Tracy, senior planner for the Brandywine Conservancy.
Tracy is a consultant for the open space plan that will be written by the conservancy with input from township residents, supervisors and members of the Planning an Open Space committees. Delaware County Planning Department will also review the plan before it can be adopted.
"Residents have a major role" in developing the open space plan, Tracy said.
Roughly 1,250 surveys were mailed to township residents asking their opinion matters. As of Nov. 17, 18 percent of the people responded, said Tracy. She called that rate of return "average to good."
The open space plan will become one component of the township's comprehensive plan, but the township must have the open space plan in order to spend the money collected from the open space tax that residents endorsed in the may 2005 referendum.
"There was a strong vote for the referendum. Chadds Ford residents want to maintain a rural character, and the plan will help do that," said Tracy.
However, the plan will not close off future development. She said the Municipalities Planning Code says municipalities must plan for all legitimate uses of land both development and open space.
Tracy said the plan is an inventory analysis with a prioritization of natural and cultural features. Natural features include woodlands, agricultural soils and rare wildlife and plant life habitats. Cultural features include historic sights and scenic view sheds.
The plan will include maps of the various resources, priorities based on analysis and suggested implementation strategies, on what can be done to protect sensitive features and how to use the funds.