Comprehensive Planning for the Centre Region

Two of the planning documents prepared by the Centre Regional Planning Commission Agency that are used by the University Area Joint Authority are the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan and Sewage Facilities Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan serves as a guide for the Region’s elected officials to turn to when making decisions on various community planning issues. The Centre Region Comprehensive Plan is a regionally consistent document adopted by all six of the Region’s municipalities. The Comprehensive Plan presents a blueprint of how the community should look in the future. Local ordinances and programs (Growth Management Tools) are tools which can be used by the Region’s officials to build the community blue print described in the Comprehensive Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan identifies a Regional Growth Boundary (RGB) (click here to see the map) which identifies the area in the Centre Region where most of the community’s future growth should occur. The Comprehensive Plan recommends that areas within the RGB should be provided public sewer, water and transportation service. The Plan recommends that the areas outside of the RGB receive priority for natural resource, open space and agricultural preservation efforts. The purpose of the Regional Growth Boundary is to encourage a compact pattern of development which can be efficiently provided public utilities and services. The RGB is also intended to direct growth away from important natural resource, open space and agricultural areas to ensure that the quality of life in the Centre Region is protected.

An important part of the Plan is a Future Land Use Map (future link to map) that identifies areas in the community that are appropriate for different types of land uses such as residential, commercial or office developments. This Map also identifies those areas that should receive priority for preservation efforts.

The Comprehensive Plan includes a series of policy recommendations to be followed by the Region’s officials. These policy recommendations are organized by planning topics such as environmental protection, community facilities, housing, regional relationships, transportation, future development patterns and historic preservation. Since the Plan is a regional document, the policy recommendations can be referred to by elected officials in each municipality to ensure their decisions are consistent with the Regional Comprehensive Plan.

The Centre Region Sewage Facilities Plan, many times referred to as the Act 537 Plan, serves as a regionally consistent guide for sewage facility decisions in the community. Based on the recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan, and the zoning designation of parcels in the community, the Sewage Facilities Plan identifies existing and future sewer service areas in the Region. The Future Sewer Service Area Map (future link to map) is adopted by all six of the Region’s municipalities and identifies locations where the University Area Joint Authority is expected to provide sewer service to meet the needs of the community.

It is policy of the UAJA to follow the Future Sewer Service Map identified by the Region’s elected officials. The Authority will not extend sewer service beyond the boundaries identified in the Sewage Facilities Plan unless appropriate authorization is received from the Region’s elected officials.