Comprehensive land use plan

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Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan
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Southern Panhandle Small Area Plan


Lancaster County adopted its current Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) on November 28, 2016. In the four years following its adoption, County staff and the development community has identified various issues within the UDO and, while some issues have been addressed during this time, many remain. Concurrently, the County will be initiating the development of a new Comprehensive Plan in FY 2020-21 and cannot wait on the development and adoption of this Comprehensive Plan to address the persisting concerns within the UDO.

Accordingly, in March 2021, Lancaster County sought out the services of a qualified professional consultant to prepare a Diagnosis/Assessment Report of its current UDO and to assist with the subsequent update of the UDO based upon the Report. It is the County’s desire for this proposed UDO update to be of a relatively modest and targeted nature focusing on the most pressing issues associated with the ordinance.

The County envisions this as a two-phase project. Phase One will consist of developing the Diagnosis/Assessment Report which, in light of the focused nature of this project, public engagement would be limited to key stakeholders (i.e. Chamber of Commerce, Planning Commission, select developers and design processionals). Phase Two will consist of the preparation and composition of the UDO update based upon the recommendations within the Report and a list of specific corrections provided by County staff.

Upon adoption of the new Comprehensive Plan, a major rewrite of the UDO is anticipated that would take into account new planning policies and addressing more substantive structural issues with the UDO.

Phase One:

  • Project Initiation Summary Memorandum (currently not available)
  • Stakeholder Interview Summary (currently not available)
  • Diagnosis/Assessment Report (currently not available)

Phase Two:

  • Draft UDO Update (currently not available)

The Lancaster County Planning Department is responsible for all of the planning activities which take place within Lancaster County, Town of Heath Springs, Town of Van Wyck and Town of Kershaw.  The department is responsible for writing all of the regulations which govern development within these four jurisdictions and providing technical support to County Council, and general public in preparing for the future growth and development of the county.  The Planning department is responsible for assisting the Planning Commission with guidelines to support community conservation efforts, preserve natural resources, and encourage smart growth and development.  

Planning Deadlines

Type Deadline to Submit Public Notice
Rezoning 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Conditional Use Application 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Mixed-Use/Master Plan 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Text Amendment 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Major Subdivision 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Road Name Change 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days

The Planning Department reserves the right to limit the number of total cases heard by the Planning Commission in a given month; which may defer a submitted application to a later month than what is represented in the table above.