When I first read Lancaster County’s Places2040 Comprehensive Plan (you can read my summary of the Plan adopted in October 2018 HERE), one “Catalytic Tool” caught my eye in particular: simplify zoning. Make no mistake, complicated zoning ordinances are not unique to Lancaster County. In Pennsylvania, where land use is controlled at the municipal level, there is often no consistency in how zoning is regulated from one township, borough, or city to the next. To add further complication, municipal boundaries don’t always align with places, communities and corridors. As a result, two comparable properties located in the same neighborhood can be governed by vastly different zoning regulations. With a system that is so fractured, how can we meaningfully work towards simplifying zoning in Lancaster County and across the Commonwealth?
To answer this question, the Lancaster County Planning Commission (“LCPC”)