Growing Responsibly in Rural Areas

Growing Responsibly in Rural AreasThis workshop focused on strategies to implement the “Growing Responsibly” big idea in places2040 – specifically in rural areas. At the workshops, we showed where it may be appropriate to continue, expand, or create new rural commercial and industrial nodes (places2040 calls them “special districts”). We also showed where rural residential development and zoning exist and where they conflict with priority ag and natural preservation areas.

 Topic 1 – Rural Special Districts

 “Special District” is a term that planners use to identify certain places where the scale, land pattern, and building forms differ significantly from the areas around them. In urban areas, they form their own character zone. In rural areas, they’re more like “natural intrusions” in our agricultural and natural character zones.

 For this topic, we applied a more limited set of criteria to identify potential candidates for designation as Rural Special Districts. We looked for existing industrial/commercial nodes – business clusters of 10 acres or more, located outside of places2040 Growth Areas, composed of commercial businesses, industrial operations, or both. This information can help us to direct future commercial and industrial development to locations that are appropriate for these types of uses, and away from agricultural and natural preservation priority areas.

 Click on the analysis and corresponding planning area maps below

 Rural Special Districts Analysis

Rural Commercial / Industrial Nodes Map – East

Rural Commercial / Industrial Nodes Map – Metro

Rural Commercial / Industrial Nodes Map – Northeast

Rural Commercial / Industrial Nodes Map – Northwest

Rural Commercial / Industrial Nodes Map – South

Rural Commercial / Industrial Nodes Map – West

 Topic 2 – Rural Residential Development

 Low-density residential development frequently occurs in areas that are zoned rural residential, which typically allows for development at densities ranging from 1 dwelling per 10 acres to 1 dwelling per 2 acres. Places2040 tells us that about 17,000 acres of land are zoned for large-lot suburban development outside of Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) in Lancaster County. However, only about 8,400 acres are needed to accommodate estimated rural population growth.

 The purpose of this analysis is to show us 1) where current rural residential zoning exists, 2) what percentage of land within these districts is undeveloped, and 3) where rural residential zoning might conflict with preserving large, contiguous areas of agricultural and natural lands.

 Click on the analysis and corresponding planning area maps below

 Rural Residential Development Analysis

Rural Residential Development Maps – East

Rural Residential Development Maps – Metro

Rural Residential Development Maps – Northeast

Rural Residential Development Maps – Northwest

Rural Residential Development Maps – South

Rural Residential Development Maps – West

 Methodology & Meeting Recordings

 Growing Responsibly in Rural Areas Methodology

 East (3/11/2021)

Metro (2/23/2021)

Northeast (3/9/2021)

Northwest (3/2/2021)