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A Community-Driven Planning Process


Perhaps what makes a comprehensive planning process most special is the opportunity it provides to put the community’s voice into City government and policymaking. Updating a plan is a proactive step where the public helps decide what’s important, answering the questions “What do we want our city to be?” and “How can we work together to make it happen?” 

Officially kicked-off in the spring of 2021, Lancaster’s Comprehensive Plan update process included a robust outreach and engagement strategy. Great care has been taken to ensure that this document is a reflection of the people of Lancaster City. From the start, the City committed to giving everyone a chance to get involved, seeking out all voices and raising up those who haven’t been heard in the past. 

Leading this effort was the Comprehensive Plan Committee (CPC), a group of city residents and stakeholders of all ages, races, and income levels, who graciously volunteered two years of their time and energy to the development of this Plan. Direct support and guidance also came from a wide array of community partners, with representation across five Technical Advisory Committees organized around key issues. These partners included local and regional organizations that play an integral role in shaping the future of Lancaster City. 

In addition to the CPC and Advisory Committees, the City spent the first year of the planning process reaching out to community members to better understand their aspirations for Lancaster, including opportunities for improvement. A variety of techniques was utilized to engage the community, ranging from in-person and virtual public workshops, tables at City and community events, key organizational leader meetings, community led meetings, and phone and online surveys. Translated materials and language access services were provided to reduce language barriers to participation. Through these efforts, the City heard from over 4,000 individuals, lending their unique voices and perspectives to the Plan. 

For a complete summary of the planning process and public outreach efforts, see Appendix F, Planning Our Future Lancaster Final Engagement Report.