“What we are looking for is something that would have that old town type of shops, some old time type of restaurants and coffee shops and possibly even some park area, that would then be able to be walked to from point A to point B,” he said.
The study delineated some goals and objectives of the plan such as the fact it is an opportunity for the township to compete in the area, beefing up its tax base and inviting growth. But the consultants also said the trustees can’t just let the plan sit on a shelf.
“A major aspect for successful implementation is a commitment from stakeholders to ‘sell’ the identity of this corridor by creating a community/business group that will ensure the follow through of the plan,” the study reads. “This follow through may include developing events to maintain continuing interest in the corridor.”
The township doesn’t have money for things like burying utility lines or major infrastructure work. The plan does include creating off-street parking behind what might eventually be businesses or restaurants in the homes that pepper the street, to reduce the number of curb cuts, which pose safety concerns.
Trustee Tom Willsey said his favorite part of the plan is it protects the township’s ambiance and will forestall any developers of “big box” stores coming to downtown. He said they hope the plan unfolds like old West Chester Twp.
“It’s just a plan, it’s some ideas, we hired this firm to give us some ideas on what we can do to spur economic development in the downtown area,” he said. “We want to try to keep the old Ross flavor in that area.”