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Organization of the Comprehensive Plan

In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) performed a thorough review of comprehensive plans. Based on this review, DCED identified several common themes, along with recommendations to make plans more usable, readable, and effective. These recommendations included minimizing jargon, illustrating ideas with drawings and photos, and improving document design. This document incorporates these principles. It presents a clear picture of where the City wants to be and how it will get there.

Our Future Lancaster also addresses the interconnectedness of planning topics by focusing on systems rather than policy “silos” for individual topics. This approach organizes information by broader tenets of community life and experience. The policies and recommendations provide a holistic view of Lancaster’s future, identifying the interrelationships between each topic area and making connections across planning systems. Cross references are provided to help the reader navigate the document and direct them to additional resources, as appropriate. 

A brief overview of the Plan’s chapters is presented below.

  • Chapter 1 sets the context and background for the Comprehensive Plan. It addresses the City’s approach, the current planning context, the Plan’s organization, and implementation. 
  • Chapter 2 describes the Plan’s policy framework and organization. It describes the guiding principles that underpin this effort. 
  • Chapter 3 lays out five planning systems that contain citywide policies and actions. Collectively, these policies and actions guide the City toward its vision. 
  • Chapter 4 contains the Plan’s land use recommendations. Future Land Use Categories are defined and applied on a Future Land Use Map (FLUM). An Economic Development Map (EDM) is also presented, including key corridors, hubs, and land-use change areas. Finally, general and place-based land use policies are provided to give further context to the FLUM and EDM.
  • Chapter 5 details a future vision for the Conestoga Riverfront that builds on Chapters 3 and 4. It sets an environmental and recreational vision that will help make the Conestoga Riverfront a centerpiece to the economic and cultural identity of Lancaster City and the metro region.
  • Chapter 6 presents a path for implementation of the Comprehensive Plan. It includes an Action Table that identifies short-, mid-, and long-term actions for the next 10 years. 
  • Appendices include a variety of affiliated documents and studies that were created as part of the Comprehensive Plan.