APA-PA pushes to restore Pa. planning funding

April 8, 2010

The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Planning Association is urging its members to contact their local state representatives to help push for a boost in the funding for the statewide Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program (LUPTAP) in the upcoming 2010-11 fiscal year.

Pennsylvania State Rep. Robert Freeman, a Northampton County Democrat and the chairman of the state house local government committee, sent a letter to governor Ed Rendell requesting an increase in funding from $375,000.00 to “at least $1 million.”

“Good community planning is essential for economic growth, sustainable development and to protect the overall quality of life,” Freeman wrote. “Unfortunately, budget cuts have drastically limited the amount of state funding that our municipalities and counties rely on for community planning and implementation efforts.”

LUPTAP is provided through the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development, and has been slashed by more than 90 percent – from $3.7 million.

“Continuing to cut LUPTAP funds will and hamper Pennsylvania’s communities,” said Freeman, in his letter to Rendell. “We need to invest in planning now to lay the groundwork for future economic recovery and development in our communities and to ensure that communities have the best land use tools available to them to be able to direct growth in a sustainable and positive way.”

The APA-PA “is requesting planners and advocates to call their representatives to ask them to sign onto the letter,” the organization states on its web site. “As of last week, the letter has bipartisan support from 15 representatives, but it needs more!”

Of the 15 listed, only one is from Philadelphia – Rep. Rosita Youngblood.

– Posted by Thomas J. Walsh.

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