Plan outlines Chambersburg's vision for the future

November 26, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The amount of open land in Chambersburg is dwindling and how it might be developed is one aspect of an updated comprehensive plan for the borough that the Planning and Zoning Commission has been working on for about a year.

A draft of the updated comprehensive plan for Chambersburg will be presented at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Capitol Theatre Center, 159 S. Main St. The meeting will be held in the center's Woods Center Stage Theatre, said Planning and Zoning Administrator Phil Wolgemuth.

It has been 12 years since the plan has been updated and much of what was envisioned then - The Capitol Theatre Center, Heritage Center, Village on the Falling Spring and rail-trail - are complete or being completed, Wolgemuth said. The updated plan will serve as a blueprint of what the borough anticipates over the next 10 to 15 years, he said.


The updated plan included surveys of the community, downtown businesses and an examination of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the municipality, according to the borough Web site.

Wolgemuth said the community survey was mailed out to 9,000 residences and businesses and got nearly 1,500 responses.

As far as city services, residents were pleased with garbage and recycling pickup and how their neighborhoods look, less so with snow removal, street conditions and noise at night. Almost 65 percent believe the borough needs public transportation, although the Chambersburg Transit Authority ceased operations a few years ago because of debt.

Most respondents felt the downtown offers a variety of goods and services and want nighttime activities there, but 64 percent said it is unsafe after dark.

Hundreds of residential and commercial lots have been approved but have yet to be built upon, according to a build-out study of the borough.

That leaves about 100 acres of land left for residential development or redevelopment, the study states. Elm Street, a state neighborhood revitalization program, is one avenue the borough is exploring to help redevelop poorer parts of town surrounding the business core, Wolgemuth said.

In commercial and industrial areas, about 226 acres remain for development and redevelopment, according to the study. That could result in up to 11 million square feet of businesses, offices, stores, warehousing and manufacturing space, the study states.

For more information about the Comprehensive Plan Update project, contact Wolgemuth, planning and zoning administrator, at 261-3232 or, or visit the Borough Web site at and click on the link to Comprehensive Plan Update Web Site.

Public meeting

What: A draft of an updated comprehensive plan for the Borough of Chambersburg, Pa., will be unveiled.

When: Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Where: The Capitol Theatre Center, 159 S. Main St., Chambersburg.

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