How about SMARTER growth?

  NEAR HAMILTON WATCH • Lancaster Township  

These areas are ripe for creative developers!

Smart growth is an urban planning concept that uses compact, high-density housing to reduce the land consumed by new development.

At its best, it promotes construction of houses, stores and community facilities in a walkable environment, close to existing transportation and infrastructure. At its worst, it is a term co-opted by developers to construct high-density suburbs in rural places.

​Respect Farmland urges citizens and public officials to look beyond the buzzwords to see if proposed "Smart Growth" projects are really just repackaged "Suburban Sprawl.” 

We believe that there are many places in Lancaster County where Smart Growth can be really smart – not on farmland, but on vacant or abandoned land in the city, suburbs and boroughs.

​This page highlights two vacant tracts – one in Lancaster City and one in Lancaster Township – that would be ideal for Smart Growth construction. It also highlights one Smart Growth project in Manheim Township, where an isolated tract along Route 30 has been converted into an attractive community – suburban housing inside an existing suburb.

We ask why developers rush to build on farmland rather than such abandoned or underused sites. Is it a matter of cost? Of government regulation? Of location? What changes in the law, what incentives, are needed to attract developers to these sites?

New housing in these areas would make room for new residents without cannibalizing the farmland that makes this county unique and desirable.

  GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS • Manheim Township  

  STEHLI SILK MILL • Manheim Township  

  ROSS & CLAY ST. • Downtown Lancaster  

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RESPECT FARMLAND • A grassroots watchdog group that alerts citizens to development projects that threaten the character of rural Lancaster County.