Borough Council Adopts State College Neighborhood Plan
July 21, 2014 8:40 PM
by Jennifer Miller
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State College Borough Council has adopted a neighborhood plan in an effort to ensure that residents enjoy a vibrant lifestyle and attractive living conditions.

Council voted unanimously to adopt the State College Neighborhood Plan drafted by the borough's planning commission and staff. Council also authorized staff to begin working with neighborhoods to implement the plan's recommendations.

For more than a year, the planning commission conducted research, including feedback from community forums, to determine how to improve the quality of life.

The plan outlines the current conditions of the borough's neighborhoods and provides recommendations to improve certain areas, including: maintenance of neighborhood facilities, appearance and high quality housing stock; balance renter- and owner-occupied housing; and improve relationships among neighbors and borough leaders.

Planning staff must provide council with quarterly updates on the plan's implementation.

In 2012, the planning commission began updating the 1994 Highlands neighborhood plan and decided to develop neighborhood plans for each community in the borough. Thursday's event was the culmination of that effort.

Featured neighborhoods include College Heights, Highlands, Vallamont, Nittany Hills East & Penfield, State College South, Tusseyview, Greentree, Orchard Park, Holmes-Foster/West End, and Penn State's main campus.

The final Plan can be viewed online HERE.

In other news, council also unanimously adopted revisions to the borough's investment policy. The borough has two benefit pension plans for borough employees and employees of the Centre Region Council of Governments (COG).

Council approved amendments to the Investment Policy Statements for police and general government employees pension plans as proposed by the Conrad Siegel Investment Advisors.

Tara Baney, consultant with Conrad Siegel, says the changes will increase fund diversity to lower expenses and protect the capital invested in fixed income funds and adding lower maturity funds so when interest rates go up price decline is limited.

Council member Jim Rosenberger inquired about an increase in international funds. Baney says the plan includes about 30 percent of equities in international, which she says is common and adds to the plan's needed diversity.

Council member Theresa Lafer says, "I like the diversification. I think comparing and looking at it, it looks like it has a much better potential for stability over time."

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