William H. Bates Awards Program

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The Bates Awards Program honors excellence in site planning, development practices, and the innovate use of land resources.


The William H. Bates Awards Program was established in 1980 by the Delaware County Planning Commission with the goal “to encourage developers and municipalities to cooperate in providing a more efficient use of land and public services for County residents.”

The Planning Commission presents Bates Awards to projects which employ innovative techniques and practices in accordance with modern and evolving principles of site planning, design, and development.

Questions about the Bates Awards Program? Contact the Planning Department at 610-891-5200 or Planning_Department@co.delaware.pa.us.


Nominate a Project

The Delaware County Planning Commission is not currently accepting nominations for the William H. Bates Awards Program.


Program Guidelines

Bates Awards Program Policies, Guidelines, and Procedures


Previous Awards

List of Awarded Projects


About William H. Bates

In 1982, the Awards Program was renamed in honor of William H. Bates, the late Chairman of the Planning Commission and whose seventeen (17) years of service on the Planning Commission merited special recognition.

Mr. Bates served as Chair of the Planning Commission during an important time of growth for the County that saw significant residential and commercial developments, including the original Granite Run Mall. Mr. Bates oversaw the development and adoption of Delaware County Land Use Plan 2000, which identified growth areas and areas of limited growth. This plan helped to coordinate development and timing of public facilities across the County, such as Rose Tree Park.

During Mr. Bates’ tenure as Chair, the Planning Commission supported the creation of the first comprehensive plans for many municipalities. It also tracked and planned for evolving development patterns of the 1970s. Work included the development of Making Commercial Strips Work: An Urban Design Study, a handbook to help municipalities address commercial strips and their impact on surrounding communities. Mr. Bates also Chaired the Planning Commission as it developed the 1976 Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Study, which spurred countless conservation efforts across the County, including the Darby Creek Greenway Acquisition project.



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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.


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