Better Models for Development scores a hit
On November 30, 70 people, many of them local municipal officials, county and state officials, business people and concerned residents attended a forum that featured the research and findings of Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC.
For five hoursinterrupted by a buffet dinnerMcMahon kept the audience fascinated by his knowledge and his presentation about best models for development that are working in communities in Pennsylvania and other states.
Mixing incisive comments with graphic slides and his brand of wry humor, McMahon showed what a community could do to preserve its beauty, its main assets and its history while it develops and grows.
Following are comments by people who attended:
With the immigration were experiencing from New York and New Jersey, it becomes imperative that we do all we can to preserve our rural character and still welcome growth. McMahons emphasis that we define what we wish to preserve in our area and work to enhance it as we grow was right on.
Alan Baranski, Vice President, Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance
I liked what McMahon said about how small towns can preserve their character by discouraging strip class=bodyshopping centers and have mixed zoning in a development so that people can shop class=bodyin stores where they live. I like the idea of small-town shopping centers. This way we can keep class=bodyour community look. We need not be afraid of development if we insist on these kinds of things from developers.
Jim Greier, Supervisor, Town of Fremont
I like what (McMahon) said. Its not the land you want to develop that you focus on but the land you dont want to develop. In other words, we need to preserve some open space in our communities. Farms can be our open space and they need to be preserved at all costs.
Leonard Bauer, Chairman, Town of Fremont Planning Board
What a tremendous presentation by Ed McMahon. His projects, experience and wealth of knowledge in various planning and zoning issues gave me some great ideas to take back to the committee working on updating the towns master plan. I walked away with a better understanding of things that shouldnt be done and some that must be done in order to preserve our rural character
Nadia Rajsz, member, Lumberland Town Board
McMahons presentation was inspiring in that he showed achievable solutions to avoid visual blight on our landscapes. He provided models for commercial and residential development that respect the human need for open, green space.
Marcia Nehemiah, secretary, Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition
I was very impressed with Mr. McMahons speaking style. He never lost my interest. The subject matter was extremely relevant to the Upper Delawares communities. What sticks with me most is the concept of sustainable growth without destroying what we already have.
Ernie Matern, Chairman, Damascus Towship Planning Board
He [McMahon] showed many examples of how subdivisions, commercial development and even big box and franchise development could respect the local character, the environment and the quality of life while still going on with their goals.
Neal Halloran, member, Cochecton Planning Board
The image of a community is fundamentally critical to its economic well-being. Where do you put it? How do you arrange it? What does it look like? are the three basic questions you need to answer when planning for the future of any community. Thanks to the Visioning Committee for sponsoring (McMahon).
Barbara Yeaman, board member of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy
Compiled by Tom Kane of The River Reporter and the Upper Delaware Visioning Committee.