Planning Smarter Montco 2021
Planning Smarter, an initiative of the Montgomery County Planning Commission (MCPC), provides important planning information that will enable local leaders and citizens to better plan for the future of their community. All Planning Smarter events are free and open to the general public unless otherwise noted. Event details will evolve as the year progresses and we continue to adhere to ongoing pandemic requirements. The 2021 series contains a hot topics event in June, which will focus on some of the effects of the pandemic and other topics that can result in significant community impacts. Given social distancing requirements, the three-session courses we annually sponsor from the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI) are not available. Instead, we have worked with PMPEI to schedule Montgomery County instructors/MCPC staff, who can provide local information, for one date of each of the 90-minute virtual courses being offered by PMPEI statewide in 2021. Each course is $25, and class space is limited. Registration and payment for the courses, as well as additional course dates and credit information, are available at www.training.boroughs.org. As usual, we will cap off the year with the Montgomery Awards celebration! For more information, contact Rita McKelvey or 610.278.3753.
Municipalities can address stormwater by enacting ordinances with green infrastructure requirements and developing MS4 stormwater management programs. But did you know that everyone can have a role in managing rainwater and reducing flooding? Opportunities to manage stormwater effectively and aesthetically increase when municipalities, homeowners, and businesses work together. Municipal efforts focus on municipal property including parks and open space, roads, and parking lots. Businesses and residents can help achieve an even more effective stormwater management program by installing green stormwater management facilities on their own properties. This free event will highlight successful projects and programs where municipalities and environmental groups have collaborated with and incentivized individual property owners (residents, institutions, businesses) to retrofit properties. We’ll also revisit recommendations in MCPC’s Sustainable Green Parking Lots guidebook and provide local examples of green parking lots as well as recently adopted ordinance language that strengthens and encourages private investment in green stormwater infrastructure.
Montgomery County is home to 43 regional rail stations on 6 rail lines of the SEPTA regional rail network—all providing convenient access to Center City Philadelphia for both daily commuters and occasional riders. Communities can transform these station areas by considering transit-oriented development (TOD). Supporting thoughtfully designed, walkable, mixed-use, and transit-oriented development around the county’s train stations can support increased transit ridership and efficient use of land. Join us at this free event for an engaging look at successful TODs in the region and an interactive design exercise focused on looking at how other station areas could be transformed.
Celebrate a successful year in planning with other municipal officials, developers, and planning design professionals. The Montgomery Awards Program recognizes the best in planning, design, and advocacy in Montgomery County. This annual program promotes awareness of outstanding design and innovative planning in our communities by awarding successful land developments, revitalization efforts, open space enhancements, environmental sustainability, and transportation improvements and recognizes sustained planning advocacy.
Completed Planning Smarter Montco 2021 Courses and Events
The pandemic brought home the importance and need for flexibility and resilience. With that in mind, this free event will focus on a combination of hot topics that are at the forefront of our planning and municipal communities. Topics include social equity, multifamily impacts, commercial vacancies, and sustainable housing. Webinar participants can expect succinct but substantial discussions on these important issues being faced by our communities, businesses, and residents. Join us for the start of a new tradition of presenting multiple hot topics in Montgomery County as part of our Planning Smarter series.
Happy Trails! Planning and Designing Trails for All Users
April 29, 2021 | 4:00 PM– 5:30 PM | Webinar | Free
Montgomery County has an extensive and very popular trail network. However, the demographics of our trail users do not always reflect the diversity of the communities they pass through and, often, there are physical and cultural barriers preventing local residents from accessing our trail system. In response to this issue and to support the transportation and equity goals established in the county’s comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, the county prepared and adopted the Montgomery County Trail Access, Diversity, & Awareness Plan. Join us to explore this innovative plan, which aims to promote equity on county trails, broaden the diversity of trail users, and modernize trail designs to address the evolving demographics of our constituents. This free event, incorporating both virtual and on-site components, will demonstrate how best practices can be applied to any community trail network in the county.
Subdivision and land development ordinances are the most common land use regulation in the commonwealth. For many local planning commissions, reviewing development applications takes up most of their meeting time. This course will look at the important work of a commission in managing the review process, which is tightly structured by the municipalities planning code. Many procedures can be easily misunderstood and can create problems for municipal planners and officials. This course will examine the complex review process and will point out problem areas and how to avoid them through a hands-on discussion. It describes how planning commissions, along with project applicants, are engaged in a collaborative process to build the future community.
*This online course is one of a series being offered statewide on several dates by the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI). We are sponsoring specific course dates that will be taught by certified Montgomery County instructors or have MCPC staff available to address local issues. Each course is $25. Course registration and payment are handled directly by PMPEI at www.training.boroughs.org.