Upcoming public meetings on the PGM Small Area Plan

Date: January 27, 2019

Ferguson Township and the Centre Regional Planning Agency (CRPA) staff are working with residents on a “Small Area Plan” to preserve the sense of place and quality of life in Pine Grove Mills. Participating residents are helping to create a comprehensive long-range vision that considers the village's historic, agricultural, commercial, cultural and economic assets.

Upcoming Pine Grove Mills Small Area Plan Meetings:

Each takes place at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 277 W Pine Grove Rd. Agendas will post about one week prior to each meeting.

6 pm Wednesday, February 13
6 pm Wednesday, March 13

As part of the development of the Small Area Plan, our public outreach included a Town Hall meeting on November 14, 2018 and a public meeting on January 10. 

November 14 Town Hall
Approximately 26 individuals attended, including Steering Committee members, Township Supervisors and staff and residents.  Jim May, Director of the Centre Regional Planning Agency, moderated the meeting and reviewed the following questions:

1. What is a Town Hall Meeting?
2. What is a Small Area Plan? 
3. Vision Statement

May explained that the Pine Grove Mills Steering Committee may look ahead 10, 15 or 20 years; it all depends on the level of projects that are identified within the Small Area Plan. 

There can be strong partnerships established between Pine Grove Mills residents, Board of Supervisors, PennDOT, and others. . May also briefly reviewed results from the survey process, specifically, these questions:

1. What changes would benefit Pine Grove Mills?
2. What do you Value Most about Pine Grove Mills?  

May then took questions and suggestions from the audience as described below:

1. Slab Cabin Run should be mentioned in the Small Area Plan as a community attribute.
2. There should be more consideration for zoning flexibility (rural versus suburban Issues)  and how would zoning be applied with the themes and goals within the Small Area Plan? With Zoning, we often look at what we cannot do as opposed to what we can achieve.
3. Talk to small business regarding barriers to success within the village.
4. Examine village demographics further. Are there opportunities to age in place within Pine Grove Mills?
5. Engage with regional businesses and organizations realizing Pine Grove Mills is a gateway community to the State College area.
6. What is the level of community organization that will take the lead in becoming a liaison with the Board of Supervisors? 
7. Keep the Small Area Plan active. Consider an implementation program that could be updated every two years.
8. Plan Implementation – Who will achieve this? Board of Township Supervisors? Steering Committee? Community in Action?
May discussed the eight (8) themes the committee has established:
1. Connectivity/Gateway: Pine Grove Mills is both a gateway to Rothrock and to the State College area at a crossroads of two state routes. Mobility and safety should be considered, but it should continue to be a gateway.
2. Community Events
3. Streetscapes – making the areas behind the curb safer and more aesthetically pleasing with street furniture and so on. 
4. Traffic Solutions, partnering with PennDOT and working on safety concerns. (Principal Transportation Planner Tom Zilla was present to discuss current traffic issues).
5. Small Business Theme.  How does Pine Grove Mills reinvigorate the village while still protecting the heritage of the village?
6. Diversity and Heritage of the Village. How does Pine Grove Mills bring those two characters of the community together? 
7. History of Pine Grove Mills, both natural and cultural.
8. Recreation and Connectivity to Rothrock and other parks in the area. 

Other Comments: 

• Expand the parking areas/trail heads to Rothrock; reference was made to the size of Musser Gap and Shingletown parking areas. 
• Invite the residents of Pine Grove MIlls to the Township HOA meetings.
• The concerns over truck traffic and the dangers of trucks coming down the mountain, out of control and causing damage was brought up to Zilla. Zilla suggested that, like the 80/99 intersection in Bellefonte, this intersection needs a champion and a back-up champion. 
• What types of developments or land use change could take place in Warrior’s Mark, generating more traffic for Pine Grove Mills. 

Next Steps:

Start drafting a report while taking into consideration the themes and comments.  By early spring, a draft plan should be prepared, followed by a second public meeting. The Town Hall meeting validated many of the themes that the Steering Committee had worked on to date. The CRPA will take the comments from the meeting and incorporate them into a draft Small Area Plan early next year. The public will have an additional opportunity to review the draft Plan.

Learn more about getting involved in the Small Area Plan Process:
If you are willing to volunteer to help with the Small Area Plan process, please contact Lindsay Schoch, Ferguson Township Community Planner, at (814) 238-4651 or lschoch@twp.ferguson.pa.us; or Jim May, Centre Regional Planning Agency Director, at (814) 231-3050 or jmay@crcog.net

Survey Results

205 respondents completed a survey to learn what people who have a stake or interest in Pine Grove Mills' future value about this quiet community. Four questions generated answers from residents, people who work in the village, and a significant number of “others” who were motivated to take the survey.

Learn more