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Jagged Little Lines: Bizarre Borders Define Bucks County

Have you relocated from another state or area of the country? Than YOU know… Bucks County is confusing (but an AMAZING place to live! Think about it…

You can have a Coopersburg, PA address and go to Palisades School District and live in Springfield address in Bucks County OR you could live in Lehigh County and go to Southern Lehigh Schools. Or you could live in Springfield Township and have a Quakertown address and be in the Palisades School District.

You could live in Springfield Township and have a Riegelsville zip code. You could live in Solebury and have a New Hope mailing address.

How about the Carversville area? Are you Plumstead Township, Solebury Township or Buckingham Township? And Plumstead Township… a Doylestown zipcode with a Danboro possible address?

The example go on and on… and are kind of interesting, especially for real estate agents working with out of town buyers.

Pennsylvania has 2,560 municipalities within its borders, the third-highest number in the United States.
View list of the 54 Bucks County Municipalities

Delaware River in Evening - New Hope, PA

View of Delaware River in Evening Overlooking New Hope, PA

William Penn had envisioned township boundaries in straight lines running at right angles to the Delaware River and the Schuylkill River, according to the Upper Darby Historical Association. Instead, Pennsylvania’s plentiful rivers, mountains, and valleys marked numerous municipal borders. Property lines, especially farms, are responsible for many of the strange boundaries that persist today.

Communities developed different identities and different wants. Rural areas balked at paying for urban areas’ paved street improvements and lights. Urban populations bristled at paying for what farmers needed.

A desire for local control meant residents didn’t want to travel miles to the government building and wanted their own emergency first-responders. Odd boundaries and fragmentation often require close cooperation among police officers and other local officials.

Developers get confused about whom to call for services and permits. For various reasons, consolidation fever never has taken hold in Pennsylvania. Read more here.


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