Since 1992, the County of Berks has made a concerted attempt to promote greater intergovernmental cooperation in our community. Acting as either a direct provider of programs or as catalyst for change, a real team effort has been underway.
The County, through its Community Development Office and Planning Commission staff, has made a commitment to intergovernmental cooperation. Four programs have been implemented: Joint Local Comprehensive Planning Program; Joint Zoning Program; Agricultural Zoning Incentive Program (AZIP); and Existing Developed Areas Program (EDAP). In 1997, the Berks County Board of Commissioners adopted an Intergovernmental Cooperation Policy that reinforced the County’s overall commitment to regional planning and inter-municipal cooperation. This Policy reflects the growing interest in inter-municipal initiatives that allow municipalities with limited resources to work together to provide future land use policies and programs to their residents as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. This Policy also provides ways to implement the County Comprehensive Plan.
The successes of these programs have not gone unnoticed. In April of 1999, the County of Berks received the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence for Building Community Partnerships. In June of the same year, the Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development presented the Community Development office with the John J. Gunther Award recognizing the Joint Planning Program. Finally, the Planning Commission received the Pennyslvania Planning Association's 1999 Outstanding Planning Award for Implementation, yet again recognizing the Joint Planning Program's efforts.
Through these programs, the County will continue to encourage regional planning through inter-municipal cooperation.
If your municipality is interested in participating in one of our programs, please contact us at (610) 478-6300.