Community Planning Office

 

Planning Director Michael Mrozinski
Assistant Planning Director Jessica Y. Grohmann
Community Planner Jennifer Boysen
Preservation Program Assistant Linda Masie

 

About the Office

Pike County Office of Community Planning is the County Department that comprehensively addresses county-wide planning issues and initiatives. The Community Planning Office responsibilities include development, management and implementation of County planning initiatives and coordination and implementation of the Pike County Comprehensive Plan. Other core responsibilities of the Office of Community Planning are to provide professional technical planning assistance to municipal governments in such areas as municipal comprehensive planning, zoning, subdivision and land development, and to support and help facilitate local municipal and multi-municipal planning initiatives.

The Pike County Office of Community Planning was designated as the official county planning department by Ordinance of the Pike County Board of Commissioners. Authorization for this official designation falls under Section 201 of the PA Municipalities Planning Code (MPC).

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State grants the power to govern and regulate local land-use and subdivision to the municipalities. Pike County has 13 municipalities in total, 11 of these are townships and 2 are boroughs. The County acts as an advisor to these municipalities on all submitted subdivision and land development plans.

All 13 municipalities in Pike County have an adopted Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance (SALDO), and all but Greene Township have adopted local zoning ordinances. The Pike County Office of Community Planning reviews subdivisions and land developments based upon the municipality's SALDO, zoning regulations, and other land use regulations. Land developments and subdivisions are also reviewed for their consistency with the goals and objectives identified in the County's Comprehensive Plan and also for appropriate 'best management practices'. See the Downloadable Documents section to the right for the current Fee Schedule and Procedure.

Comprehensive Plan

Purpose of Pike County's Update:

The primary purpose of this 2006 update to the Pike County Comprehensive Plan is to set Countywide planning goals and priorities, develop partnerships, and enhance the quality of life for the residents of the County.

The Plan's Mission is to:

  • Manage growth and development pressures
  • Stimulate progressive planning and visionary thinking
  • Improve County-Municipal partnerships/cooperation
  • Identify infrastructure needs
  • Preserve sensitive lands/open space
  • Enhance local land use controls
  • Increase housing options
  • Enhance economic development
  • Enhance tourism opportunities
  • Improve on our quality of life

 

About Comprehensive Planning:

A Comprehensive Plan is a non-regulatory document that provides statistical information and existing conditions to support future goals of a county or municipality. It establishes a vision for future growth and development and provides an implementation strategy to reach that identified vision.

The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) (Act 247 of 1968, PL 805 as amended) requires counties to create and adopt a plan and update the plan as needed every ten years. The Pike County Planning Commission and the Pike County Office of Community Planning developed the first plan in 1993 and recently developed and adopted an extensive update to the County's plan in 2006. The plan is prepared with a broad range of subjects including housing, land use, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, community facilities, scenic and natural resources, historical resources, open space, greenways and trail planning. The MPC also provides an opportunity to be proactive in identifying Conceptual Growth Areas (Chapter 5) and identifying opportunities for Multi-Municipal Partnerships (Chapter 11). This plan provides an invaluable tool for municipal and County officials to guide the overall development of the County. Specific planning goals and recommendations are outlined in Chapter 9 - Actions to Address Major Issues in the County

Many levels of government and numerous agencies are responsible for implementing the recommendations identified in the adopted Comprehensive Plan. Both the Planning Commission and the Office of Community Planning are ultimately responsible for the coordination of the implementation of the plan.

 

Public Lands Guide

The Planning Office received a grant from DCNR to create a Public Lands Guide for Pike County visitors and outdoor enthusiasts. The grant is part of DCNR's Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape Initiative and is administered by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The Public Lands Guide provides maps, helpful information, and even a business listing for those visiting Pike County. The guide itself is listed as a downloadable document on the right side of the Planning Office's web page.

Click below for Pennsylvania's Online Map

DCNR Interactive Recreation Map

 

Individual Maps
County Reference Map SGL 116
DWGNRA North SGL 183 & White Deer Lake
DWGNRA South SGL 209 & Stairway Lake North
Five Meadow Road SGL 209 & Stairway Lake South
High Knob SGL 316
Pennel Run SGL 180
Promised Land Stillwater Natural Area

 

Links
 
Partners in Project
 
Links of Interest

 

This project was funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape. The grant is administered by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

Open Space Plan

"Growing...Naturally" is a planning project partially funded through the Department of Conservation of Natural Resources (DCNR). The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has an action plan entitled "Pennsylvania Greenways, An Action Plan for Creating Connections". Through this plan, the goal for every county in Pennsylvania to adopt a greenway plan by 2007 was set. DCNR promotes the development of "greenway plans" by county and local governments as an integral part of their planning efforts. The goal of these planning efforts are to link greenways, identify and implement programs that address "green infrastructure", and integrating these efforts with community revitalization and economic development.

The Pike County Open Space, Greenways and Recreation Plan was adopted by the Pike County Board of Commissioners on August 27th, 2008 as an official component of the Pike County Comprehensive Plan.

Executive Summary

"Growing...Naturally" Open Space Plan

Open Space Fact Sheet

 

Hazard Mitigation Plan

Hazard Mitigation is defined as "any cost-effective action taken to eliminate or reduce the long-term risk to life and property from natural, man- made and/or technological hazards." The phrase "cost effective" added to the definition stresses the importance of finding effective mitigation alternatives which over the long-term can also reduce the economic impacts to our communities' tax base.

The Pike County Hazard Mitigation Plan has been prepared in response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirement and was developed to be consistent with the Pennsylvania Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The Pike County Hazard Mitigation Plan assembles important inventory and data on potential hazards to our communities and prioritizes these hazards in frequency and severity. It analyzes and reviews alternative mitigation options based on the resource capabilities of our County and communities. The plan then selects the most appropriate course for future mitigation of the hazards facing our County residents. The plan will enable the County and its municipalities to effectively respond to hazards as they occur and reduce the potential risks of these hazards to the health, safety and welfare of our residents. Additionally, the Plan will allow for Pike County communities' eligibility for a full range of assistance following hazard events.

 

Appendix A - Bibliography
Appendix B - Local Mitigation Plan Review Crosswalk
Appendix C - Meeting and Other Participation Documentation
Appendix D - Local Municipality Flood Vulnerability Maps
Appendix E - Critical Facilities Inventory
Appendix F - HAZUS Results Report

Appendix G - Dam Failure Hazard Profile

 

 

Sawkill Vandermark Rivers Conservation Plan

In March of 1999, Pike County was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PADCNR) to develop a comprehensive management plan for the Sawkill-Vandermark Creeks Watershed. The purpose of the grant was to work with local residents to develop a “Rivers Conservation / Watershed Management Plan” by identifying significant natural, recreational and cultural resources; determining the issues, concerns and threats to river/watershed resources and values; and recommending methods to conserve, enhance and restore the watershed’s streams and waterways.

The headwaters of Sawkill Creek and Vandermark Creek originate north and west of Milford Township, with both streams eventually discharging into the Delaware River (see Figure 1). Together, the Sawkill Creek and Vandermark Creeks watersheds span approximately 30 square miles across 5 municipalities (Milford Borough and Dingman, Milford, Shohola and Westfall Townships) in Pike County, Pennsylvania. The combined area (referred to here as the “Sawkill-Vandermark Creeks Watershed”) is recognized locally and regionally for its important natural, recreational and economic resources. Its varied landscapes include state and federal recreational land, habitat for threatened and endangered plant and animal species and several National Historic Landmarks. A significant portion of the watershed still contains untouched groundwater recharge areas. In addition, the lower reaches of the watershed have been designated as “Outstanding Basin Waters.”

Sawkill Creek & Vandermark Creek Watershed
A Rivers Conservation Plan


Watershed Maps


Figures and Appendices

Appendix A

Wildlife and Corridors Subcommittee Report

Education Subcommittee Report

Appendix B

Sawkill - Vandermark Creeks Watershed Field Assessment Sheets

Appendix C

Sawkill - Vandermark Creeks Public Survey

Appendix D

Sawkill Creek, Special Protection Evaluation Report

Vandermark Creek, Special Protection Evaluation Report

 

Planning for the Future Map/Brochure (Mapchure)

The Pike County Planning for the Future full-color Map/Brochure (Mapchure) describes and depicting the benefits of best planning practices. The Mapchure contains a newly created map of existing residential developments of 15 lots or more in Pike County, PA.

The project entails educational materials and guides that assist in implementation of the Pike County Comprehensive Plan. The informational project supports the improved ability of municipal governmental in local land use planning; strives to protect the County's natural resources; identifies threats to the Upper Delaware Corridor and the County as a whole in regard to gas drilling operations, and assists in enhancing social and economic vitality of the County and the region.

The County of Pike printed 2,000 copies of the Mapchure in August 2011. The previously funded Upper Delaware Council Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) project was such an overwhelming success that this revised version was created to provide a long-requested analysis of residential developments and also contain an examination of gas drilling operations and potential impacts. The Mapchure was designed by the Pike County Office of Community Planning staff. The document will be used to promote the efforts of the County and the region in the implementation of the Pike County Comprehensive Plan and the Pike County Open Space, Greenways and Recreation Plan. It will also support the implementation of the goals as outlined in the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Final River Management Plan, Sawkill/Vandermark Rivers Conservation Plan, and other pertinent planning projects and data.

The product contains a full size GIS derived map of Pike County's existing residential developments dating back to the early 1900's. Pike County currently contains nearly 200 developments comprising some 54,000 lots or 80% of the lots within the county. The residential community topic is of such concern that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 194-1 adopting a Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission (JSGC) to conduct a study on the impact of residential developments, taxation, services and infrastructure needs. Our development of this data, in concert with the JSGC's study, will assure accurate background data exists to assist these communities. The map and supporting data contains the existing residential developments and their current number of lots, dwellings, and the existence of central water/sewage facilities. Open spaces and the road network will also be represented.

Please click the link for an electronic copy of the Mapchure in the Downloadable Documents section on the right side of this page. If you would like a copy of the printed version, please contact our office or visit your local municipal office, visitor center, or chamber of commerce. Supplies are limited.

Residential Subdivision Analysis & Mapping

The Planning Staff have completed mapping of the Residential Developments in Pike County containing 15 lots or more. Utilizing the county Geographic Information System (GIS), planning staff experience, and the cooperation of of the development associations, this office collected data on the developments. The data collected on the 192 developments included total lots, developed lots, acreage, sewage disposal, water supply, school district, fire coverage, in addition to other information. This data has been molded into a spreadsheet available in report form.

As with any map, this is a snapshot (as of January 2010) and is entitled to updates and revisions, especially regarding current proposed developments not yet approved. The GIS allows staff to quickly edit the information as land development continues to change the landscape of Pike County. Anyone wishing to offer updates or information on their development are more than welcome to contact our office at (570) 296-3500.

COUNTY-WIDE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT STATS & NUMBERS:

  • 192 Residential Developments containing 15 lots or more
  • 53,248 Total Acres in the Residential Developments mapped
  • 49,381 Parcels contained in the 192 Developments
  • Of those 49,381 Parcels, 25,928 (53%) are Developed
  • 75 Developments (39%) offer Recreational Facilities
  • 65 Developments (34%) contain Open Space or Green Area
  •  

    PERCENT OF LOTS DEVELOPED IN DEVELOPMENTS:

  • 0-25% - 8 Developments
  • 26-50% - 38 Developments
  • 51-75% - 67 Developments
  • 76-100% - 79 Developments
  •  

    PRIMARY WATER SUPPLY:

  • Central Water - 25 Developments (13%)

  • Community Wells - 33 Developments (17%)

  • Individual On-Lot Wells - 134 Developments (70%)

     

    PRIMARY SEWAGE DISPOSAL METHOD:

  • Central Sewage - 8 Developments (4%)
  • Community System - 4 Developments (2%)

  • Individual On-Lot System - 180 Developments (94%)

     

    33 DEVELOPMENTS CONTAIN 200 LOTS OR MORE

    22 DEVELOPMENTS CONTAIN 500 LOTS OR MORE

    15 DEVELOPMENTS CONTAIN 1,000 LOTS OR MORE

     

    Pike County Residential Developments Subdivision Map

    Development Maps
    Blooming Grove Delaware
    Dingman Greene
    Lackawaxen Lehman
    Milford Township Palmyra ( North Section)
    Palmyra (South Section) Porter
    Shohola Westfall

     

    Maps from this report can be purchased from the Pike County Planning office. Please contact us at 570-296-3500.

    34" x 44" County Map - $25.00

    Data Report - $15.00

    11" x 17" Individual Township Map - $10.00

     

  • Municipal Demographics

    Pike County's population has been steadily increasing for decades. With Pike County's proximity to the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, many new residents continue to recognize the quality of life and affordable housing costs in making their decision to relocate in Pike County. In fact, the US Census Bureau reported that Pike County was the 36th fastest growing county in the nation between 1990 and 2000. Due to this growth rate, the County closely monitors and assesses growth patterns as it relates to population, housing, economic development and income. These demographic assessments assist municipal and County officials in understanding future needs as well as an understanding of the impacts that a growing population has on existing infrastructure, services and the overall quality of life.

    The Pike County Office of Community Planning also provides population, housing, economic, and other census related information for public use and for comprehensive planning purposes at both the County and municipal levels. A sample of these demographic assessments can be accessed by clicking the links below. Detailed demographic assessments can be accessed by viewing the Pike County Comprehensive Plan while specific needs can be obtained by calling or e-mailing our Office.

    County / Municipal Information US Census Bureau 2000 Census Information
       
    Historical Population Census Tract map
    Population Growth - 2009 Estimates 2000 Census Profile
    Housing Units 1970-2010 Municipal 2000 Census Profiles
    Building Permits 1982-2010 2010 Census Data
    Housing Sales Data 2000-2007  
       

    Transportation

    Pike County State Bridges

    Pike County Municipal Bridges

    Pike County Transportation Improvement Plan

    Greetings From Pike County

    The Pike County Office of Community Planning, in collaboration with the Pike County Commissioners and the Pike County Marcellus Shale Task Force Economic Development and Tourism Committee have announced the release of "Greetings From Pike County," a promotional brochure that highlights Pike County's high quality natural resources.

    Need for a brochure to promote Pike County's natural resources arose from a recommendation by the Pike County Marcellus Shale Task Force Economic Development and Tourism Committee to respond to the negative perceptions held of the natural gas exploration activities in northeast Pennsylvania, and how these activities have affected Pike County. The Pike County Marcellus Shale Task Force Economic Development and Tourism Committee and the Pike County Planning Office have heard from prospective visitors, homebuyers and businesses who were reconsidering their plans because of the negative publicity, contrary to the actual situation regarding natural gas exploration in Pike County. Negative attention to the quality of life in northeast Pennsylvania from national media coverage has also been of concern to existing residents, businesses, and local officials. Pike County has yet to host any drilling activity. The Pike County Planning Office and the Pike County Marcellus Shale Task Force Economic Development and Tourism Committee have responded by promoting Pike County's most important natural resources.

    The brochure focuses on Pike County's natural assets, and the County's commitment to responsible land stewardship. The brochure's tagline, "Greetings From Pike County," and its nostalgic design, seek to assure residents and visitors of Pike County's pristine natural resources. To continue to promote Pike County's high quality of living, the brochure includes a contact page with area visitors' bureaus, chambers of commerce and County agencies for visitors to find out about up-to-date news, activities, and events taking place in Pike County. Links to local social media pages are also included on the contact list, as potential visitors, homebuyers and businesses not familiar with the area may look to the internet. Most of Pike County's tourism, business, and economic development bodies already have a website and a social media presence on Facebook or Twitter. These contacts allow those interested in Pike County to learn more about what is happening in the area.

    Gas development of the Marcellus and Utica shales are currently on hold in the Delaware River Basin, which includes Pike County, until the Delaware River Basin Commission passes regulations that can responsibly manage water use. Once the DRBC issues these regulations and natural gas development becomes a possibility in Pike County, the Pike County Commissioners want residents and visitors to know that they will make every attempt to balance development with the continued protection and conservation of our exceptional water resources.

    A grant from the Upper Delaware Council's Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program helped to fund the design and production of this brochure.

    The brochure is being released to area businesses to help answer any questions or concerns that people may have on what is currently taking place here in Pike County. Requests for brochures and other questions may be directed to Nicholas Dickerson, Community and Natural Resource Planner with the Pike County Office of Community Planning at (570) 296-3500.  

    Office Info

    Hours M-F 8:00 - 4:30
    Phone 570-296-3500
    Fax 570-296-3501
    Internal Extension 1380
    Address 837 Route 6, Unit 3
    Shohola, PA 18458
    Contact Email planning@pikepa.org
    Directions 5 Miles West of I-84 & Route 6 Interchange (Exit 46)