Bucks County Planning Commission
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The administration section of the planning commission consists of technical support services, including: telephone screening, word processing, spreadsheets, desktop publishing, bookkeeping, purchasing, photocopying, editing of documents, library management, and the processing of plans. This section provides information to the public regarding topics such as demographic statistics, maps, reports, plans, and studies conducted by the planning commission.
Agricultural Land Preservation Program
The Bucks County Agricultural Land Easement Program was established in 1990 as part of the Pennsylvania Farmland Protection Program (Farmland Preservation Act, Act 149 of 1988). The joint state/county easement purchase program provides funds for agricultural conservation easement purchases. These easements limit use of the land to agricultural operations in perpetuity. Land owners apply to the Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board, which meets monthly and works with farmers interested in farmland preservation. Applications are received at the end of each calendar year.
Open Space Program
The Bucks County Commissioners proposed that the county commit to a multimillion dollar open space preservation initiative. On May 20, 1997, 71 percent of voters cast their support for open space preservation by authorizing the county to issue $59 million in bonds to fund the initiative over the next decade. The funding for this bond was divided into four parts: expanding the park system by purchasing additional land, providing municipalities funding to prepare an open space plan and funding for properties designated in the plan to preserve, funding for the purchase of natural areas in the county as designated in the natural areas inventory, and additional funding for the continuation of the agricultural land preservation program.
This section provides planning assistance to the 54 municipalities in Bucks County. The major responsibility of this section are the review of the proposed subdivisions, land developments, requests for change of zoning classification, and amendments to municipal ordinances and comprehensive plans as required by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (Act 247) and the review of planning module submissions as required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 537).
BCPC staff also provides a full range of planning services to all of the county's 54 municipalities through community planning assistance contracts that include development of comprehensive plans, zoning and subdivision and land development ordinances, special studies, and general planning assistance to local planning commissions.
Our environmental planning section conducts research, informational programs, and plan production on topics such as flooding, natural resources, recycling, solid waste, stormwater management, wastewater facilities, water resources, and wellhead protection. The county planning commission is responsible for preparing watershed-based stormwater management plans.
The county provides education on recycling to the public and coordination of municipal and county recycling grant programs. We administer the household hazardous waste collection programs held in the county during the year. For a listing of the current schedule of events please click here.
Transportation/Geographic Information System (GIS)
Our transportation planning section works with state, regional, and federal agencies on funding and transportation planning issues. Proposed road improvements are recommended to us by our 54 local governments, and we work with funding agencies to improve safety and mobility in the county.
The transportation planning staff conducts reviews of traffic impact statements submitted with subdivision and land development proposals.
The county's geographic information system (or computer mapping) program is housed at the planning commission. Our staff uses the GIS system to produce maps used for the reports, plans, and studies we prepare. Our GIS staff is working toward developing a county-wide GIS program, which will integrate county data and maps.