University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

Fall - Winter 2003

MASTER PLAN REVIEW IN RESORT DEVELOPMENT:  THE CASE OF STRATTON MOUNTAIN, VERMONT

Robert M. Sanford, Environmental Science and Policy Program
University of Southern Maine
Hubert B. Stroud, Department of Criminology, Sociology, Social Work and Geography
Arkansas State University

Abstract

 Act 250, Vermont’s landmark environmental legislation, contains provisions for master plan review of large developments.  These provisions allow citizen input into the regulatory process yet also allow development corporations to vest rights of development.  This master plan process improves environmental protection while helping the overall planning process to be timely and strategic.  This paper describes a case study of master plan review for a large ski resort in southern Vermont, which demonstrates an unusually effective application of planning by a regulatory review agency and a cooperative developer.


IMPACT OF LAND USE ZONING ON RESIDENTIAL VALUES IN THE TOWN OF ORCHARD PARK, ERIE COUNTY, NEW YORK

Bill Fulton , Town of Orchard Park, Erie County, New York
Tao Tang, Department of Geography and Planning
SUNY – College at Buffalo

Abstract

 This research analyzes the effects of non-residential zoning and land use on the zoned residential values in the Town of Orchard Park.  The original hypothesis is that residential property values would increase as distance increases from unfavorable land uses, such as industrial or commercial parks.  Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was applied to extract information of zoning, residential assess values, and parcel land use.  Buffer analysis with 1000 feet interval was applied to visualize the spatial distribution patterns of residential values.

 The results indicate that residential values of houses built since 1970s increase as the distance from non-residential land use types increase.  The values of residence built prior 1970s have no specific distribution pattern.  The results show that the high income block groups are spatially coincident with the high requirement residential zonings.  The high income groups have the highest percentage of longer commute time to work.


LAND USE AND LAND COVER CHANGE IN THE NORTH CENTRAL APPALACHIANS ECOREGION

Darrell E. Napton,Department of Geography, South Dakota State University
Terry L. Sohl and Roger F. Auch, Science Applications International Corporation
Thomas R. Loveland, USGS EROS Data Center

Abstract

 The North Central Appalachians ecoregion, spanning northern Pennsylvania and southern New York, has a long history of land use and land cover change.  Turn-of-the-century logging dramatically altered the natural landscape of the ecoregion, but subsequent regeneration returned the ecoregion to a forest dominated condition.  To understand contemporary land use and land cover changes, the U.S. Geological Survey with NASA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency used a random sample of satellite remotely sensed data for 1973, 1980, 1986, 1992, and 2000 to estimate the rates and assess the primary drivers of change in the North Central Appalachians.  The overall change was 6.2%.  The 1973-1980 period had the lowest rate of change (1.5%); the highest rate (2.9%) occurred during the 1992-2000 period.  The primary conversions were deforestation through harvesting and natural disturbance (i.e., tornados) followed by regeneration, and conversion of forests to mining and urban lands.  The primary drivers of the change included changes in access, energy and forest prices, and attitudes toward the environment. 


THE ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE YORK INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT IN SOUTH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA: 1700 - 1920

Mark E. Reisinger, Department of Geography
SUNY-Binghamton

Abstract

 This paper examines the formation of an industrial district in York County, PA.  The paper demonstrates the importance of initial conditions, including natural resources, general skills levels of the workforce, a growing economy, prosperous people, and social networks that communicate information and support cooperative ventures.  It is argued that the formation of industrial districts, such as York County does not lie solely in the realm of the economic; broader social and institutional aspects are important as well.  The combination of traits acquired from earlier generations, such as entrepreneurship, measured risk-taking, recognizing the importance of education, hard work, and frugality produced a milieu of social cohesion in which industry could establish itself and be successful.


PENNSYLVANIA’S DRIVE-IN MOVIES: THE BUSINESS OF PRESERVING A CULTURAL ICON

Alison E. Feeneyand Thomas P. Feeney, Department of Geography-Earth Science
Shippensburg University

Abstract

 This paper examines the history, growth and decline of drive-in movie theaters across the nation and the importance of the industry in Pennsylvania.  A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to display national and state wide trends during the peak of distribution in the 1950s and 1960s, decline rates over the last four decades, and current surviving drive-in theaters today.  Pennsylvania was an important state during the 1950s and today leads the country with the most operating drive-in theaters in 2003; Pennsylvania is also home to the oldest, continuous running, drive-in theater.  While drive-ins across the country have closed due to increasing suburban growth, many in rural Pennsylvania have survived.  The success or failure of their future may not be suburban growth but rather a declining population.


CREATING A GIS COMFORT ZONE: AN EXAMINATION OF INTRO TO CAD/GIS (THE GIS PORTION)

Thomas R. Mueller and Thomas D. Wickham, Department of Earth Sciences
California University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

 This paper describes and analyzes the geographic information sciences portion of Introduction to CAD/GIS.  The course was implemented after many discussions with students about their “comfort level” with taking an upper level geographic information sciences course.  The Department of Earth Sciences at California University of Pennsylvania has implemented GIS in different courses, but felt that more needed to be done to educate students at a basic level of GIS.  This paper describes the content of the course, including lectures and labs and examines students’ comfort level with GIS before and after taking the introductory GIS course.