A Comprehensive Plan is a document that sets community objectives for a city, region, or County’s development over a ten to twenty-year period and lays out policies and land use strategies to accomplish these objectives. Once adopted by the relevant legislative body, comprehensive plans serve as the legal basis for planning decisions in their communities. The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), which is the foundation of the Planning Bureau’s work, sets an expectation that each municipality in the Commonwealth will create a comprehensive plan and update this plan at regular, ten-year intervals. According to the MPC, a municipal comprehensive plan must include the following elements:
(1) a statement of community objectives,
(2) a land use plan,
(3) a housing plan,
(4) a transportation plan,
(5) a community facilities and utilities plan, and
(6) a statement of the interrelationship of development in the municipality with that in surrounding municipalities.
The 1993 Comprehensive Plan has guided land use policy ever since it was produced. During this interim, City staff have relied upon the 1993 Comprehensive Plan alongside two regional and County-wide comprehensive plans: a 2007 initiative by the Lancaster Inter-Municipal Committee (LIMC) called Growing Together and a 2018 County-wide plan titled places2040.