In 2015, the Berks County Planning Commission collaborated with the Sites and Infrastructure committee (a sub-committee of the Ride To Prosperity Group) to develop an interactive web map tool called the Berks County Commercial and Industrial Land Suitability Tool.
The Land Suitability Tool is intended to be used as a first step to guide users to the most suitable areas in Berks County for commercial and industrial uses. Land with suitability ranges 3 through 6 are most desirable, with a range of 6 being the most suitable.
Click here to view the Berks County Commercial and Industrial Land Suitability Tool
TWO TYPES OF LAND SUITABILITY HEAT MAPS
1. Commercial and Industrial Land Suitability- Land with a residential structure has been removed. However, land that includes other existing developed areas have not been removed (use the aerial imagery base map to verify whether or not land has existing structures).
2. Commercial and Industrial Vacant Land Suitability- Land with structures valued at $10,000 or more according to the Berks County Tax Assessment Office has been removed (use the aerial imagery base map to verify whether or not land has existing structures as some error may exist).
HOW THE LAND SUITABILITY HEAT MAPS WERE CREATED
The land suitability was developed by prioritizing factors related to commercial and industrial uses determined by the Sites and Infrastructure Committee of the Ride to Prosperity group. The factors included in the land suitability analysis are:
- Land without Environmental / Land Use Constraints- Land not suited for development was removed (this includes areas in Berks County where development is restricted due to a variety of factors including, but not limited to: hydrology, historical importance, agricultural/conservation easements/easements restricting land development, sensitive plant and animal species habitats, topography.)
- Interchanges with a half-mile radius
- Major Roads with a quarter-mile radius (Interstates, U.S. Routes, numbered State Routes)
- Public Sewer Service Areas
- Public Water Service Areas
Q: Was zoning taken into consideration when creating the land suitability?
A: Zoning was not used in determining the land suitability since it can change frequently at the discretion of the municipality. However, composite zoning related to commercial and industrial development is available as an option to view within the web map.
Q: I see an area on the map ranked as the most desirable area (Rank 6) for commercial and industrial development. Does that mean this site is "shovel ready"?
A: No. This map is intended as a first step in guiding interested parties to areas of Berks County that have the best potential for commercial and industrial development. Further discussion should be taken into consideration to determine infrastructure needs, zoning, etc. with the local municipality. Municipal contact information is provided within the web map.
Q: Is there a way to reorder the different layers provided on the web map?
A: Yes. Simply click your mouse to left side of the layer title in the CONTENTS section of the web map and drag your mouse up or down to the desired position.
Q: How often is the commercial and industrial land suitability updated?
A: Twice a year.
Q: How often is the parcel and base mapping information updated?
A: Tax Parcels- every Monday unless a holiday falls on a Friday or Monday.
FEMA Floodplains, composite zoning, easements, public sewer service, public water service, opportunity zones, water bodies, streams, roads, municipal boundaries- Information for these features are updated as soon as new information becomes available.
Traffic Volumes- information is provided by a live feed from PennDOT. When PennDOT updates their information, the web map will automatically be updated as well.
Q: I found an error on the map, who do I contact?
A: Please contact the Berks County Planning Commission with a detailed description of the error. We will be in contact with you if we need further clarification. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER: The Berks County Commercial and Industrial Land Suitability Tool is FOR REFERENCE ONLY; PARCEL BOUNDARIES NOT SURVEY GRADE.