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									                                                                                                  OUR FIRST STEPS

Letter from the                                     GIS Advances at Municipal Level
Planning Director
                                                    The Monroe County Planning Commission provides available GIS
Dear Monroe County Citizens:                        data to municipalities, school districts, government agencies and
                                                    private interests. Currently, 17 of the County’s 20 municipalities
When the Monroe 2020 process started, our           are using GIS software along with the data. In addition, the GIS is
catch phrase was “Take the first step toward        being utilized in eight County departments, one school district and
                                                    in three police departments. To date, the Planning Commission has
the future…Be part of the solution.” We are
                                                    arranged GIS training for over 50 persons.
pleased to present this report of our first steps
in implementing the County’s                        The following chart illustrates the volume of GIS requests handled
Comprehensive Plan.                                 by this office. These include both customized mapping requests
                                                    and requests for GIS data on Compact Disc (CD).
Implementation began in earnest in                                                                                        George Basila, GIS Specialist and Steve Rinker, GIS Coordinator
December 2000 with the adoption of the              A municipal workshop was held on October 16, 2002 at the Public
                                                    Safety Center in Snydersville and was attended by 15 municipal and               Year            Number of Requests
Municipal Partnership Program which now                                                                                              1999                 108
                                                    county representatives. Updates to the Standard GIS Dataset were
has all 20 municipalities as participants.          distributed on CD. These CDs contain information on parcels,                     2000                 133
                                                    zoning, roads, agriculture, the 2000 Census and voting districts.                2001                 116
The report indicates the significant                                                                                                 2002 as of 12/5      108
accomplishments to date and also highlights         The GIS Staff is currently assisting Eldred Township in the
current activities and the MCPC Board. As           development of its Zoning Ordinance. We have recently assisted Polk, Middle Smithfield and Tunkhannock
we continue to move forward, we were                Townships in updating their Zoning Maps, and Price and Smithfield Townships in the development of their
                                                    Comprehensive Plans. We have also developed road maps for many of the County’s municipalities.
recently reminded by a task force member
that every now and then it’s good to look           One of the highlights of this past year took place on April 18, 2002 when Gov. Mark Schweiker joined nearly 1,000
back over your shoulder to see where you            state and local officials to celebrate the Commonwealth’s sixth annual Local Government Day, and to honor this
were five years ago. Thanks to all of you,          year’s recipients of the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence. The Monroe County Planning
                                                    Commission was among the recipients in the category of Information Technology.
we’ve made some real progress since the
beginnings of Monroe 2020 in 1996. We               The Planning Commission’s award was based on its efforts in developing the County’s GIS as part of the Monroe
appreciate your continued support and               2020 planning process, implementing it throughout the County government system and in the municipalities, and
participation.                                      providing information and support to the County, its municipalities and the public.

Best Regards,

                                                    Flight 2000 to Provide Aerial Photography
                                                    The Monroe County Commissioners recently authorized the development of digital orthophotography (seamless
John Woodling                                       aerial coverage of the County with distortion removed) and several planimetric (distortion-free) map layers utilizing
Planning Director                                   data from Flight 2000, a federally funded initiative that provided aerial photography of most of northeastern
                                                    Pennsylvania. The planimetric layers include road centerlines, driveways over 200’ in length, airports, railways,
           Monroe 2020 Vision                       building locations and hydrography. These products will be incorporated into the County’s GIS and will assist in
The citizens of Monroe County will                  many projects, the most important of which may be readdressing for enhanced 911 service.
continue working together to sustain and
improve our quality of life by ensuring that        Working with the Monroe County Control Center, readdressing will involve assigning city-style addresses to the
the county’s environmental, economic, and           County’s residences and businesses. A uniform method of assigning addresses will be developed. This is critical,
cultural assets are within reach of all its         since many new residents are having a difficult time getting an address assigned to their homes. In addition, these
people.                                             addresses will improve response time for emergency responders.
Regional Comprehensive Planning Efforts
                                                         In June 2000, Pennsylvania adopted its own “smart growth” legislation uniquely tailored to the traditions, law and politics
                                                         of Pennsylvania. Acts 67 and 68 both amended the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). These reforms enable counties
                                                         and municipalities to take more control of their destiny by planning together for both development and conservation of
                                                         resources, and, most importantly, implementing such plans through cooperative agreements and consistent ordinances and

                                                         Establishing a framework for cooperative effort among municipalities and between municipalities and the County is the
                                                         core of the County Comprehensive Plan. This goal is being achieved at the municipal level through the development of
                                                         three multi-municipal comprehensive planning efforts consisting of twelve municipalities. The multi-municipal planning
                                                         regions include the Coolbaugh/Tobyhanna/Tunkhannock/Mt. Pocono Region; the Hamilton/Stroud/Pocono/Stroudsburg
                                                         (HSPS) Region; and the Chestnuthill/Eldred/Jackson/Ross Region. The regional cooperation in the County is in the
                                                         forefront of this type of planning in the State.

                                                         There are a number of benefits related to multi-municipal comprehensive planning. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the
                                                         ability to take a regional approach to various land uses. Municipalities within a multi-municipal planning area no longer
                                                         necessarily have to provide for every use within their own boundaries. However, each type of land use must be accounted
                                                         for within the boundaries of at least one of the municipalities in the Region. Also, within a multi-municipal area, it is
                                                         easier to protect larger areas of lands from intense development by designating growth areas in or around existing
                                                         developed places and rural resource areas for more limited development. All three regions have a regular meeting
                                                         schedule. Please call your municipality for meeting dates, time and location.

Monroe 2020 Awards                                       Monroe 2020 Tools                                              What is Growing Greener?
The following awards have been received during the The following incentives have been introduced to the                 The Growing Greener Program, developed by the Natural
Monroe 2020 process:                               municipalities through the Monroe 2020 process to assist             Lands Trust, is a smart growth tool designed to assist in the
                                                   implementation of the County Comprehensive Plan:                     preservation of open space while accommodating growth
10/25/99 1st Place– Community Improvement Category                                                                      and development. Below is a list of commonly used terms
         Pocono Northeast Community Awards               •   Municipal Partnership Program                              and phrases related to implementing Growing Greener in
                                                                - Technical Reviews                                     Monroe County and its municipalities.
10/27/99 The Monroe 2020 Website was chosen as the              - Grant Writing Assistance
         Pennsylvania “Destination of the Day”                  - Planning Assistance                                   Growing Greener Audit
                                                                - Model Ordinances                                      An evaluation of local plans and ordinances producing a
11/2/99 Distinguished Leadership Award for Elected                                                                      detailed report critiquing the plans in a constructive
        Officials Presented to the Monroe County •           Community Planning Handbooks, Volumes 1 and 2              manner, pointing out areas where the regulations
        Commissioners by the Pennsylvania Planning           (from Chester County)                                      inadvertently thwart conservation objectives.
                                                       •     Geographic Information System                              Growing Greener Ordinances
10/2/00 The Comprehensive Plan was recognized as an             - Map Plotting Requests                                 Municipal regulations which accomplish objectives from
        Outstanding Effort in Planning by the                   - Data Conversion Assistance                            the Growing Greener Audit that focus on adding flexibility
        Pennsylvania Planning Association                                                                               that can retain substantial open space during land
                                                       •     Financial Assistance Program                               development, establish significant greenway connections,
12/5/01 Designation as a participating Green Community                                                                  and accomplish more efficient use of land that is being
        by USEPA                                       •     Open Space Program                                         converted from open and vacant to developed status.
                                                                - Regional Open Space Plans
4/18/02 Governor’s   Award   for    Local   Government          - Municipal Initiatives                                 Conservation Subdivision (Growing Greener)
        Excellence                                              - County Initiatives                                    A relatively new concept of development that enables land
                                                                                                                        to be developed while simultaneously preserving
6/12/02 National Association of Counties– Achievement •      Growing Greener Audits                                     community character and reducing environmental impacts.
        Award                                                                                                           This is accomplished through a creative design process that
                                                                                                                        identifies primary and secondary conservation areas.

    Monroe 2020 Process Initiated

               Open Space Bond Referendum Passed                             Completion of Growing Greener Audits
                                                                              Economic Advisory Board Proposed
                         County Comprehensive Plan Adopted                      Regional Open Space Plans Completed
                          Growing Greener Audits Begin

1996                                  Municipal Partnership Program Adopted

                                                 County Open Space Plan Adopted
         1998                                                                                                Open Space Acquisitions Continue
                     1999                                                                                  First Conservation Subdivision Developed in the County
                                    2000      2001           2002
                                                                                    First Biennial State of the Plan Released
                                                                                    Financial Assistance Program Adopted
                                                                                    Economic Summit Held
Open Space Planning Regions
                                                              In May of 1998 the citizens of Monroe County approved a $25 million Open Space Bond Referendum. Upon the passage
                                                              of this referendum, the Monroe County Commissioners appointed the Open Space Advisory Board in October of 1998.
                                                              The Board consists of 11 members from a broad range of backgrounds and interests who are charged with developing
                                                              standards and procedures for using the $25 million in bond funds for the planning and conservation of open space.

                                                              The Board realized the necessity of a countywide open space plan to guide land use, set priorities for open space funds and
                                                              provide municipalities with a consistent countywide vision to aid them in local open space planning. In June of 2001 the
                                                              County Commissioners, with a recommendation from the Open Space Advisory Board, adopted the County Open Space
                                                              Plan. This plan is a natural outgrowth of the County Comprehensive Plan and outlines a vision of the county that is
                                                              “Forever Green” - a county with parks and open space linked by a green infrastructure.

                                                              Along with the development of the Open Space Plan, the Open Space Advisory Board also recommended that each
                                                              municipality prepare its own open space plan, either alone or preferably in conjunction with neighboring municipalities.
                                                              In the Summer of 2000 all twenty municipalities in Monroe County initiated the process of developing Regional Open
                                                              Space and Recreation Plans. The municipalities joined together and formed six planning regions to access funds that were
                                                              made available through a joint planning grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and
                                                              the County’s Open Space Bond to develop Open Space and Recreation Plans.

                                                                The Regional Open Space Plans followed the same theme as the development of the County Comprehensive Plan and
                                                                involved extensive citizen participation to determine the public’s open space and recreational needs and interests. With
the assistance of municipal Open Space and Recreation Committees, each region worked with a consultant to determine the extent to which residents use existing open space and
recreation lands, facilities and services, and what they want in the future. The citizen participation was essential in the development of the plans to allow multiple opportunities for
residents to participate in the identification of lands to be conserved, acquired and/or improved, and the designation of their uses. Each consultant was encouraged to be creative and
try new approaches to maximize citizen participation, especially involving the school district, community groups, and citizens of all ages.

To date, five of the six regions have completed their open space and recreation plans. The sixth region expects to have its plan completed in early 2003. The development of these
regional open space and recreation plans allows the municipalities the ability to access funds from the Open Space Bond to acquire land either in fee simple or through conservation
easements through the County Initiatives Program and the Municipal Initiatives Program.

Open Space Acquisitions                                          Regional Acquisitions
                                                                 • Chestnuthill Township on behalf of the Region which also includes Eldred, Polk and Ross Townships acquired
                                                                 244 acres in Chestnuthill Township utilizing $406,046.66 in Open Space Bond Funds along with a grant from the
                                                                 DCNR in the amount of $360,000. The property is proposed to be used for active recreation.
                                                                 • Paradise Township on behalf of the Region which also includes Barrett Township and Mt. Pocono Borough
                                                                 acquired three properties totaling 137 acres utilizing $406,046.66 in Open Space Bond Funds along with a grant from
                                                                 DCNR in the amount of $330,000. The properties are proposed to be used for active recreation.
                                                                 • Smithfield Township on behalf of the Region which also includes Middle Smithfield and Price Townships and
                                                                 Delaware Water Gap Borough has acquired a property in Smithfield Township totaling 137 acres and has submitted an
                                                                 application to DCNR to acquire a second property totaling 49 acres, also located in Smithfield Township. The
                                                                 proposed use for these properties is active recreation.
                                                                 Municipal Acquisition
                                                                 • Stroud Township has acquired a property located on Tott’s Gap Road totaling 31 acres utlizing $20,548.30 in
                                                                 Open Space Bond Funds and $20,000 from a DCNR Grant. The property will be utilized for access to the
                                                                 Appalachian Trail.
                                                                 County Acquisition
                                                                 • The County has acquired 100 acres in Stroud Township along Godfrey Ridge utilizing $168,000 in Open Space
Barrett/Paradise/Mt. Pocono Regional Acquisition                 Bond Funds, $150,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and $65,000 as a donation from Aventis Pasteur.

Forest Legacy Program                                         The Forest Legacy Program was established by Congress as part of the 1990 Farm Bill and aids in the identification and
                                                              protection of environmentally important forestlands threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. The overall purpose of
                                                              the Forest Legacy Program is to help protect and conserve working forests while maintaining private ownership of the
land. The Forest Legacy Program provides grants to participating states for assistance with the acquisition of land and land interests (easements) to conserve vulnerable forests in
perpetuity. To be accepted into the program, land or land interests must be located within a designated Forest Legacy Area and must meet specific eligibility criteria. The Department
of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, in cooperation with the State Forest Stewardship Committee, is responsible for implementing this program in

In May 2002, the Monroe County Open Space Advisory Board, in cooperation with the County Commissioners, submitted an application to designate Monroe County as a Forest
Legacy Area. The designation of a Forest Legacy Area will allow forestland owners to apply to place a conservation easement on their lands in a manner similar to the County
Agricultural Land Preservation Program. Landowners, who would be compensated for giving up their development rights, must also agree to follow a forest management plan which
outlines how the forestland can best be managed for timber production, wildlife and watershed management. In order to be eligible, the Forest Legacy Area must meet three criteria:
be threatened by parcelization and fragmentation, be environmentally important, and provide opportunities for continued traditional use including hunting, timber production and

As noted in Monroe County’s Comprehensive Plan “Preservation and enhancement of open space is a fundamental goal of the Monroe 2020 process”. The County is known for its
beautiful forests and clean streams and the challenge is maintaining a high quality environment in the face of a population growth rate which is the second fastest in the state. The
County is confident that it will meet all three of the criteria and that the Forest Legacy Program will be another valuable tool to ensure the sustainability and continuity of these unique
features of our county.

The Forest Legacy Area designation for the County is currently pending final approval from the US Forest Service. For more information on the Forest Legacy Program or if you are
interested in a conservation easement, please contact the Open Space Coordinator at the County Planning Commission.
                                    Monroe County Planning Commission Board
The Monroe County Planning Commission Board was formed in 1964 and consists of nine members who are appointed by the County Commissioners for 4 year terms. The Board’s
primary responsibility is to assist the County in maintaining a balanced framework of objectivity, foresight, environmental sensitivity and concern for our citizens and community.
The Board meets the second Tuesday of the month at 5pm in the Monroe County Planning Commission Conference Room. Below is a brief introduction to all of our board members
along with a statement of their vision for Monroe County’s future.

          Barbara B. Gregorich, Chairman                               Alan L. Everett, Vice-Chairman                                        Andrew Forte
                  Barrett Township                                           Hamilton Township                                               Stroud Township
                Education Consultant/                                   Hamilton Township Supervisor                                           Businessman
      Retired Director of Admissions, NYU Stern
                School MBA Program                            “To try and maintain what is left of Monroe                  “Continued prosperity, a high quality of life for
                                                              County’s rural character by preserving open space            County residents and appreciation of the area’s
  “A vibrant and still ‘green’ community, with more           and controlling residential growth along with                natural beauty.” Andy is also President of the
  housing in conservation subdivisions, whose                 creating new opportunities for a broader                     Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau, past
  residents are locally employed at a decent salary           commercial and industrial tax base.” Alan is the             Chairman of the Pocono Mountains Chamber of
  with benefits.” Barbara currently is a Founding             President of the Pocono Mountain Council of                  Commerce and a member of the Monroe County
  Trustee at Buck Hill Conservation Foundation                Governments and is a Committee Member of the                 Railroad Authority.
  land trust and is an avid golfer.                           PSATS.

                     Rick Mosher                                                 Doris Price                                                Jim Robinson
                    Price Township                                          Chestnuthill Township                                      Chestnuthill Township
         Logistics Manager, Johnson Diversey                          Ross Township Secretary/Treasurer                      VP of Industrial Operations, Aventis Pasteur

  “A place where children and grandchildren can               “To see municipalities manage land use to ensure            “The state is unique in its history, terrain,
  live, work and enjoy the outdoors.” He is                   that local taxes don’t put property owners in a             diversity and resources and I would like to keep it
  currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the Price              more serious financial situation.    To create              that way. It is a challenge to balance growth that
  Township Board of Supervisors.                              economic development that would encourage our               so many people want with maintaining what
                                                              younger population to remain where their roots              makes PA special to those who have always lived
                                                              are. And to continue with new approaches to                 here. I’d like to play a role in this balancing act.”
                                                              protect our natural environment.”                           Jim is a PA native who enjoys sailing, kayaking,
                                                                                                                          hiking and biking.

                   Mark Sincavage                                            Sue LaRose Starner                                              Charles J. Vogt
                 Tobyhanna Township                                          Hamilton Township                                              Pocono Township
            President, S.I.D.E. Corporation                         Retired Radio Station Owner/Manager                                         Attorney

  “To develop a balance between economic                      “We have such wonderful natural resources that              “A thriving, diverse community that is the result
  development, which includes housing                         need to be protected. At the same time, economic            of the successful balancing of residential,
  development, and protection of the environment.             growth is both inevitable and necessary to support          economic and cultural growth along with open
  This vision is obtainable by using the latest               our communities. It is our decision as Monroe               space preservation.”
  techniques in land use planning. The road map               County residents how this balance is maintained
  for the future is the Monroe 2020 Plan.” Mark is
                                                              and it is the responsibility of every citizen to be
  Vice-Chairman of the Tobyhanna Township
  Planning Commission and Penn’s Northeast and                part of the process.” Sue is a Trustee of
  Chairman of the NFIB/PA.                                    Northampton Community College.

             Board of Commissioners                         Monroe County Planning Commission Staff                           Monroe 2020 Executive Committee
              Donna M. Asure, Chairman                                     John Woodling, Director                                     Alan Price Young, Chair
          Robert H. Nothstein, Vice-Chairman               Laura Baatz                       Stacy Ogur
            James E. Cadue, Commissioner                   Eric Bartolacci                   Steve Rinker               Paul Canevari                      Bob Phillips
                                                           George Basila                     Penny Robson               Dr. Robert Dillman                 Sue LaRose Starner
                                                           Judy Cameron                      Shelly Tharp               Daisy Gallagher                    Craig Todd
                                                           Christine Laytos                  Jeff Weed                  Barbara B. Gregorich               Charles Vogt
    Monroe County Planning Commission                      Meredith Miller                   Danuta Wilewski            Chuck Hannig
            Barbara B. Gregorich, Chairman
             Alan Everett, Vice Chairman                       Comments on the newsletter should be directed to:                   Open Space Advisory Board
                                                                 Monroe County Planning Commission                                         Jeff Evans, Chair
    Andrew Forte               Mark Sincavage                          One Quaker Plaza, Room 106
    Richard Mosher             Sue LaRose Starner                      Stroudsburg, PA 18360-2169                         Daryl Eppley              Thomas O’Keefe
    Doris Price                Charles Vogt                          E-mail:                         Pauline Fox               Barbara Samet
    Jim Robinson                                                               570.517.3100                               Darcy Gannon              Richard A. Staneski
                                                                            Fax: 570.420.3564                             Leigh Kane                Herbert Wile
                                                                                              Don Miller                Arthur Zulick

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