Comprehensive Plan

Planning Commission Comprehensive Plan of 2018
The Comprehensive Plan for the Township, known as Tomorrow’s Palmer, was completed in 2018.

Below are the Introduction and Major Goal sections of the Plan. Click the button below to view the full document.

This plan is 82 pages long so it may take a little time to download.


Palmer Township residents treasure their tight-knit, inclusive sense of community that has distinguished the Township for generations and share a sense of pride in public improvements. The Township’s balanced tax base has enabled residents to enjoy and expect a high level of quality of service for many decades. Like all established expectations, the challenge comes in maintaining these services. Many influences are shaping ways in which the municipality balances its needs and expectations. In the coming decade, there will be discussion and actions that are pivotal in shaping future Township decisions.

As part of this planning process, residents, along with the Comprehensive Plan’s Steering Committee, appointed and elected officials, have generated many ideas and scenarios considering how the community functions and thrives today and what possibilities are in store for the Township’s future. If there was one word that captures the essence of tomorrow’s Palmer, it is "balance" – balance of physical changes and policies with fiscal allocations, balance of residential and non-residential impacts, balance of community and regional demands.

The 2018 Comprehensive Plan is different from the Township’s 2011 Comprehensive Plan and other previous planning work. Past work examines land use patterns, however, in response to the Township’s continued growth, this Comprehensive Plan takes a deeper look in analyzing remaining land available for development in the Township. From this examination, the Township explores opportunities of balancing redevelopment, enhanced connections and technical policies with considerations of future revenues and expenses, retiring debt service as well as leveraging investments made in the road, sewer and water infrastructure. The Plan calls out recommendations that touch all aspects of the community - everything from land use to parks and recreation. It aims to ensure that what distinguishes Palmer for the next generation of residents is the community’s commitment to responsible decision-making and responsive service to its residents and businesses.


The community’s housing stock, vibrant business settings, active citizens and committed community leaders are all attributes that contribute to Palmer Township’s long-term sustainability. The area’s wealth of civic and educational resources provides a foundation for maintaining a high quality of life that residents have come to know.

Many components of change currently impact the community. The primary purposes of the comprehensive planning process are to identify issues, define opportunities and formulate strategies that will address, leverage and forge implementation efforts. The community’s challenges can undoubtedly be transformed to opportunities.

This Plan defines a series of strategies formulated to address issues that can be solved through collaboration among community leaders, Township departments, local institutions and businesses, residents, regional stakeholders and agencies of the Commonwealth. In planning through the lens of tomorrow’s Palmer, the community can ensure its successes continue in the decades ahead.


Land Use And Housing

  • Provide housing opportunities for a full range of ages, family types and accessibility needs.
  • Establish policies that support fiscally marketable redevelopment and re-use of previously developed sites.
  • Support well planned and compatible land uses that are concurrent with infrastructure availability, environmental sensitivities and surrounding density patterns.

Economic Development

  • Safeguard the community’s established, business-friendly atmosphere.
  • Encourage compatibility of established development within the Township and new entrepreneurial efforts.
  • Promote a variety of development scales, densities and land use patterns that reinforce the community’s desirable character.


  • Identify and address pedestrian safety needs, congestion, traffic flow challenges and safety concerns where they exist.
  • Support integrated, safe bicycle/trail networks to support recreation and connectivity of community assets and neighborhoods.
  • Improve transit ridership convenience and safety between areas of employment, shopping, neighborhoods and transit stops.


  • Provide a wide range of active and passive recreation areas and facilities that are well distributed throughout the Township.
  • Enhance offerings with other non-athletic forms of recreation including inclusive play and those which support residents of all capabilities.

Natural Systems And Open Space

  • Protect natural and dedicated open space areas and riparian corridors, inclusive of floodplains, as a cohesive, interconnected system.

Civic Appreciation And Municpal Services

  • Continue emphasizing civic values and pride to the future generations of Township residents.
  • Reinforce the significance of the community’s multiple civic centers or hubs as destinations for recreation, community gathering and commerce.
  • Establish a sense of arrival when entering Palmer Township.
  • Encourage energy resourcefulness through balancing efficient land use and transportation relationships.
  • Align development with accessible infrastructure service.
  • Continue delivering quality public services.
  • Facilitate discussions with neighboring communities when dealing with regionally significant development and improvements.
  • Maintain fiscal responsibility relative to the Township’s tax base when considering rezoning requests and development approvals.
  • Promote sustainability as a guiding principle in Township decision-making.

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