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3 DAUPHN COUNTY PLANNNG COMMlSSlON STAFF Dauphin County Veterans Memorial Building 2 Market St., 7th Floor Harrisburg, PA Telephone: (77) Executive Director... Associate Director... Staff Planner ll... Staff Planner... James R. Zeiters, AlCP James W. Szymborski, AlCP David F. Royer Timothy P. Reardon, AlCP Omar A. Syed Jeff Kelly Michael D. Rimer Rosemary Kosiek Michael Boyer Staff Planner... Randall L. Heilman Christina Fackler Joseph Price Planning Technician... Planning Technician... Administrative Coordinator... George E. Hubley Louise L. Stewart Patty L. Buggy Secretary... Legal Counsel... Chris Keefer Thomas D. Caldwell, Jr. COST - $25.00

4 DAUPHN COUNTY Board of Commissioners Russell Sheaffer, Chairman Sally Klein Anthony Petrucci Planning Commission Dorthy Ross - Chairman Donald Horner - Vice-chairman Barry Nazar - Secretary William Chianos - Treasurer Charles Leedecker Norman Kennard John Orr

5 a PHASE PHASE DAUPHN COUNTY COMPREHENSVE PLAN TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter - ntroduction Chapter 2 - History of Dauphin County Chapter 3 - Natural Environment Chapter 4 - Population/Socio-economic Chapter 5 - Economic Base Chapter 6 - Existing Land Use Chapter 7 - Housing Chapter 8 - Transportation Chapter 9 - Existing Community Facilities and Services Chapter 0 - Administration and Finances Chapter - Goals and Objectives Chapter 2 - Future Land U se Plan Chapter 3 - Transportation Plan Chapter 4 - Community Facilities Chapter 5 - Housing Plan Chapter 6 - Plan Administration and mplementation


7 THE MPORTANCE OF PLANNNG CHAPTER NTRODUCTON Planning is an organized process that enables managers, elected officials, planning commission members and others to define their community s goals and objectives, set their priorities, and seek solutions to long-term issues. Participation in the planning process enables communities to monitor, analyze, and react effectively to change within each individual community and the county as a whole. The established planning mechanisms such as zoning ordinances, subdivision and land ordinances, official maps, and comprehensive plans can be used to guide future growth and development in the community. The Comprehensive Plan, a valuable planning tool, is broad in scope, examining physical, social and economic features that mesh to make the county of today, while seeking to apply this knowledge to the future. THE PURPOSE OF THE PLAN The Dauphin County Comprehensive Plan is a policy guide that encourages orderly development in promoting the health, safety, convenience, and general welfare of its citizens. The Plan formalizes the County s goals and objectives and serves as a blueprint for the establishment of action oriented programs focusing on the growth and development of the County. t offers an orderly plan to support and manage the homes, businesses, schools, churches, industries, and government services that occupy the variety of land use patterns. The Plan comprehensively outlines both the current and desired municipal character, and also delineates the economic development measures of the County. Once adopted, the Plan offers a framework for continual review and revision of its elements, as necessary. THE PROCESS OF THE PLAN The Comprehensive Plan is more accurately defined as a continuous process rather than as a document. Planning is a process of rationally evaluating and determining appropriate future actions through a sequence of choices. To produce an accurate, useful Plan, the County should obtain essential community information that describes the existing environment, develop a plan that encourages the most acceptable future development, prepare a schedule for a capital improvement program, and then implement and monitor these activities. Planning is often a process of problem solving. After the problems have been diagnosed, goals and planning standards can be stated, alternative solutions can be considered, feasibility analyses can be performed, and then the accepted policies can be implemented and evaluated. Public participation through surveys -

8 ~ and public meetings are important in all phases of the development of the Plan. Even though this Plan is a fluid process and may be modified from time to time, it represents crucial decisions that are important to the welfare of the people. t embodies vital decisions of the population that the County may opt to accommodate, and the standards by which the County will be developed. t mandates which land use types will be developed, where they will be located, and how they will be connected through the lines of communication and a circulation system. Decisions on the preservation of open space throughout the County are also included in the Comprehensive Plan. THE ORGANZATON OF THE PLAN Three major steps are involved in the preparation of the Comprehensive Plan. First, the collecting of all essential information relating to the people and the land; second; after careful and thorough analysis of this information, the development of plans will encourage the most appropriate future development of the County while maintaining existing property values and seeking ways to provide necessary municipal facilities and services; and third; upon completion of the planning process involves putting these planning recommendations into proper action programs. This is accomplishedthroughthe adoption of official municipal maps and through the annual preparation and adoption of a capital improvement program. The Comprehensive Plan is divided into three plan elements. Phase - Basic Studies, introduces the ntroduction, History, Natural Environment, Population/Socio-Economic Profile, Economic Base, Existing Land Use, Transportation and Circulation, Housing, Community Facilities and Utilities, and County Administration and Finances. Phase - The Plan Development, includes Community Development Goals, Future Land Use Plan, Transportation Plan, Community Facilities Plan, and Housing. Phase - mplementation, Consists of the Capital mprovement Program and Administration. LEGSLATVE AND LEGAL BASE FOR THE PLAN n the 926 Euclid, Ohio vs Ambler Realty case, the United States Supreme Court established the precedent of allowing a community to direct its own development and growth. The justices declared that the town of Euclid, Ohio could indeed determine which land uses would be allowed within its political jurisdiction. Since that initial case, the courts have repeatedly upheld the right of a community to exercise a police power in legislating regulations governing the use of the land, within certain constraints. The legislative authority for Pennsylvania local governments to plan for and manage development within their boundaries emanates from the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247, as amended. This enabling legislation lists the -2

9 planning tools available to communities to accomplish these goals. The primary method to protect and provide for the best interest of citizens is through adoption of a zoning ordinance. This should be supplemented by adoption of other supportive codes and ordinances such as a building code, housing code, subdivision and land development ordinance, and comprehensive plan. Upon adoption of a comprehensive plan by the County, Act 247 requires that municipalities submit for recommendations to the county planning agency any adoption, amendment, or repeal of an official map, subdivision and land development ordinance or a planned residential development ordinance. This ensures that the Dauphin County Planning Commission may provide recommendations relating to the location, opening, vacation, extension, widening, narrowing or enlargement of any street, public ground or watercourse and the location, erection, demolition or sale of any public structures located within Dauphin County. -3

10 i HSTORCAL DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 2 HSTORY An examination of the names of townships, municipalities, and streets located within Dauphin County reveals the names of the courageous, tenacious men and women that left their homes in Philadelphia, West Chester, France, England, and reland to forge. a new life in a pristine land. The first group of settlers, the French Huguenots such as Letort and Chartier, pushed through the frontier until they reached the Susquehanna River and the ndian Village of Peixtan. The original residents of Peixtan, the nomadic Lenni Lenape ndians, received these pioneers and served as guides for the newcomers as they searched for animal pelts. Survival in the harsh, rugged frontier demanded perseverance from those daring enough to surmount its daily challenges. The Scotch-rish, colonists that possessed these attributes, migrated from Ulster, reland to the disputed Pennsylvania-Maryland border and then to the areas along the Susquehanna River in the early days of the eighteenth century. Names such as Chambers, Maclay, and Stewart and Kelker appeared in early records listing the original inhabitants of Peshtank, Derry, Londonderry, and Hanover Townships. The Chambers family chose the mouth of Fishing Creek (currently the site of the Hunter Mansion) as the location for their family residence and mill operation. Many years later the Chambers family moved down the Susquehanna River and founded Chambersburg. n 729 Peter Allen, one of the first colonists to explore and settle the land north of Paxton Creek, constructed a stone dwelling at the mouth of the Swatara River, which is believed to be the oldest building in Paxton Township. British pioneers also colonized the area along the Susquehanna River during the early 700's. The site of an old ndian village called Peshtank and convergence of various ndian trails proved an acceptable location for John Harris to construct his home around 79. He built a log cabin near the present site of Paxton and Front Streets and operated a ferry route across the Susquehanna River. This village called "Harris' Ferry" flourished as many more people moved to the territory. Colonists continued to arrive from reland, England, France, Germany, and other parts of the Province, as Pennsylvania was known, and to situate their homesteads along the fertile valleys of the Susquehanna River. During the 750's the prosperity of these villages and the peaceful relations enjoyed with the Lenni-Lenape and riquois ndians slowly diminished as tensions mounted between the ndians, the French, and the British. The once tranquil territory became marred by violence and brutal murders of both the ndians and the white settlers as the French and ndian War raged through the hamlets. The inhabitants' fear during this time is graphically depicted in the Everts' and Stewart's Historical Atlas 2 -

11 of Dauphin County account of one settler who wrote, "magination cannot perceive the perils with which the settlement of Paxton was surrounded from 754 to 765. To portray each scene of horror would be impossible - the heart shrinks from the attempt. The settlers were goaded on to desperation; murder followed murder." Bayonets and swords had just been retired from the battles of the French and ndian War when the residents of the territory found themselves raising their swords in yet another war, the American Revolutionary War. Battling to secure their freedom from the excessive English taxes and dominance, the colonists enlisted the support of the French, which proved effective. On March 4, 785 the colonists in the territory known as Lancaster County, triumphing in their new freedom, elected to demonstrate their appreciation for the French efforts and divide Lancaster County into two counties, naming the new county "Dauphin," after the oldest son of the King of France. By 79 the United States had elected its first president, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution of the newly created United States, and John Harris lived to see the fulfillment of his ambition to establish the borough of Harrisburg. His son, John, not only shared his father's aspirations to establish Harrisburg, but also believed that someday this town would be the seat of government in Dauphin County, and perhaps the location of the state's capitol. Harris and William Maclay designed the street pattern for the town with these goals in mind. They selected several blocks for the location of the county and state government buildings and designated them as public grounds. John Harris' dream of locating the county government in Harrisburg met with little resistance; Middletown and Carlisle were considered, but Harris' arguments for Harrisburg were convincing. Harris encountered more hindrances, however, in his quest to establish Harrisburg as the state capitol. The Legislature in Philadelphia realized that the perimeter of Pennsylvania was increasing as more people moved from the eastern cities to the western frontier regions, and that they would eventually have to move the state capitol to a more central location for the shifting population. n 795 the House agreed to relocate in Carlisle, but the Senate rejected this plan. n 798 the House selected Wrightsville as its new location, but again the Senate refused. Finally, one year later, both parties agreed that Lancaster would be an acceptable locale for the government. For thirteen years state governmental activities transpired in Lancaster while John Harris' public land set aside for such activities would serve as a spot where Harrisburg citizens would excavate sand and gravel. Unsatisfied with the facilities and location of Lancaster, however, the Legislature again decided to relocate. n 822, twenty-seven years after John Harris began his crusade to establish Harrisburg as the state capitol, the gavel struck the Speaker of the House's desk on Capitol Hill in Harrisburg and the Legislature commenced operations. 2-2

12 The early years at the state capitol building were not all characterized as tranquil. During one session in 838 the Senators vigorously debated the outcome of recent election returns. The volatile controversy caused visitors from Philadelphia, Lancaster, and other Pennsylvania towns to leap from the visitors' section into the Senate chambers. Before the incident referred to as the "buckshot war" had ended, the President of the United States, Martin Van Buren, had been alerted and federal troops were summoned to help quell the angry citizens that demanded a recount of election ballots. Several decades later, in 897, the capitol building erupted in flames just as the Legislature was concluding its agenda. The large clock in the entrance of the historic building struck wildly as the building collapsed, leaving nothing but a charred framework and the front pillars that had welcomed Pennsylvania residents for seventy-five years. Activity not only flourished on the blocks occupied by governmental buildings, but also throughout Dauphin County. n the late 820,s an agreement was signed to bring the Pennsylvania Canal through the County, thus linking it to markets of western Pennsylvania, as well as parts of New York and New Jersey. Barge traffic along the Susquehanna River escalated, bringing new products, ideas, and residents to Dauphin County. Townships continued to consolidate even though the agrarian industry dominated the hinterlands of the County. The year 837 is remembered as the first time the prosperity of Dauphin County was severely threatened. Banks throughout the county and the entire nation were failing as inflation rates soared. The federal government and many private citizens had invested in highly speculative land sales in the western portion of the United States, which escalated the cost of agricultural products, leaving many with large debts. By 837, the prosperity of Dauphin County was threatened as inflation rates soared throughout the country. The Federal government had lent too much money to those engaging in land speculation in the western part of the nation. Eventually, the President issued an order preventing the government from accepting paper currency. Shortly after the monetary panic subsided, entrepreneurs in Dauphin County realized that they would have to expand their-market to include other types of business, such as silk. During this time, silk was a highly prized commodity, so the local residents attempted to buy numerous silkworm cocoons and mulberry trees (the only tree upon which the worms could survive). After two years, states began placing bans on raising the worms, so the local silkworm industry deteriorated. Spikes were being driven into the ground as the railroad industry was developing across the nation. The Pennsylvania Railroad, destined to become the world's largest railroad, built its first section of railroad from Harrisburg to Lewistown. Steel companies such as Bethlehem Steel developed in the area to support the railroad companies' need for steel products. The area's centralized location in the state and access to a major waterway, 2-3

13 the Susquehanna River, made it an ideal center for transportation. Lumber mills soon dotted the shoreline of the Susquehanna River, sending their timber products downstream to the railroad centers throughout Dauphin County, which in turn sent them on to other destinations. The various industries that have developed along the scenic Susquehanna River banks, the early battles argued in the original capitol building, and the early relations between the ndians and settlers such as Harris, Chambers, Maclay, and Allen are all rich, valuable reminders of the Dauphin County heritage. The twentieth century has been marked by the continued growth and prosperity of Dauphin County. The construction of the new capitol building in 903 and the rebuilding of the areas along the Susquehanna that were ravaged by floods in 936 and in 972 are examples of the resiliency and the fortitude of the modern "settlers." 2-4

14 CHAPTER 3 NATURAL ENVRONMENT To assist in providing orderly, intelligent,. and efficient growth for Dauphin County, it is essential that the appropriate features of the natural environment be delineated, and that this information be integrated with all the other planning tools and procedures. The purpose of this section is to provide a practical compilation of all the available environmental data as an aid to planning in the County. t is important that government decisionmakers and the residents of the County be aware of the constraints that the natural environment may impose upon the future developers of the County. CLMATE Dauphin County is dominated by atmospheric flow patterns common to Humid Continental type climate. The complex weather systems that influence the area originate in the Central Plains of the United States. As they travel eastward, they are gradually modified by the characteristics of the underlying topography. Moisture in the form of precipitation is lost due to orographic uplift, as the weather systems moving eastward are lifted over the Appalachian Mountain Chain. A secondary flow pattern and primary source of heavy precipitation associated with cyclonic circulation forms from the Gulf of Mexico northward through the County. The moist air flow from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east, is a modifying rather than a controlling climatic factor. A considerable amount of moisture is periodically picked up by storms developing and moving up along the southeastern coastline of the United States. Disturbances of this type usually bring moderate to heavy precipitation to the Lower Susquehanna River area due to the general up slope motion of moist air over the area s rugged terrain. n the colder months when temperatures are near or below freezing, these storms often deposit heavy amounts of wet snow throughout the area. The Great Lakes, a source of moisture, have little or no influence on the climate of the study area since the weather systems formed over the Great Lakes migrate northward. The normal succession of high and low pressure systems moving eastward across the United States produce weather changes in the area every few days in the winter and spring of the year. n the summer and fall, the weather changes are less frequent due to a slowing down of the general atmospheric circulation during the warmer months. Low pressure cyclonic systems usually dominate the area with southerly winds, rising temperatures, and some form of precipitation. The high pressure anticyclonic systems normally bring west to northwest winds, lowering temperatures, and clearing skies to the area. Hurricanes or tropical follow a northeasterly path heavy rainfalls and strong disturbances as they move northward, in the middle latitudes and produce surface winds in the study area. 3-

15 Frequently affecting water supplies and causing floods, these tropical storms are observed during the hurricane season, June through November. Weather elements or activities of the atmosphere, such as precipitation, temperature, wind direction and speed, relative humidity, and sunshine are measurable quantities which affect the study area. The study area normally receives about 46 inches of precipitation annually. Normal monthly precipitation totals average from a minimum of 2.6 inches in February to a maximum of 4.3 inches in August. Snowfall is light to moderate averaging about 30 inches annually, while the mean annual number of days with snow cover of one inch or more is about 50 days. Air temperatures are important to the management of water resources and water quality. The average annual temperature for the study area is about 50 degrees F. The mean freeze-free period is about 75 days. Because of the rugged terrain, the freeze-free season varies between 70 days in the mountains to 80 days in the lowlands. n the study area, the summer mean is about 76 degrees F, and the winter mean about 32 degrees F. Winds are important hydrologic factors because of their evaporative effects and their association with major storm systems. The prevailing wind directions in the area are from the northwest in winter and from the west in spring. The average wind speed is 0 mph, with an extreme wind speed of 68 mph from the westnorthwest reported in the Lower Susquehanna area during severe storm activity in March of 955. Relative humidity also affects evaporation processes. The mean monthly relative humidities for the months of January, April, July, and October are about 68 percent, 62 percent, 70 percent, and 75 percent, respectively. Sunshine, which varies with latitude and time of the year, is a factor to be considered in the various aspects of water resources. The mean annual sunshine in hours per year for the study area is about 2,500 hours. The evaporation process is,controlled by temperature, wind, sunshine, and humidity. The rate of evaporation during the warmer months has an important impact on water storage in reservoirs and on irrigation. The mean May to October evaporation accounts for about 72 percent of the total annual evaporation. Development in the county should take some of the climatic conditions into consideration. Tree lines and high ground should be on the northwest side of buildings to take advantage of the microclimates of a tract of land. By breaking the velocity of the northwest winds, energy conservation can be realized by reducing the temperature slightly. To take advantage of the sun for passive or active solar systems, building should have south facing walls. 3-2

16 8 Although the climate will not have a major effect on land uses, it should be considered in the layout of buildings for purposes of energy consumption. HYDROLOGY Effective management of available water resources can be a complex procedure, but it is essential that each community inventory and monitor the quality and quantity of the available water supply and implement programs aimed at the protection of the health, safety and welfare of its residents. Management of water resources revolves around the knowledge of four principal components of hydrology - surface water, groundwater, floodplains, and wetlands. Understanding these elements will assist in the formulation of better land use practices and help the community provide adequate water services for residents and offer safeguards against extensive damage resulting from floods. Water resource management policies may follow one of several approaches. One common strategy focuses on the management of watersheds. Watersheds, defined as the areas of contribution or drainage to a particular watercourse, are portions of larger regions called subbasins, which drain large expanses of land. n the early 970's the Bureau of Resources Programming of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources developed a water management program to address "new water uses...water problems associated with water supply, recreation, flood control, and the disposal of wastes...and to guide the conservation, development, and administration of the Commonwealth's water and related land resources. The program divided the state into twenty study areas called sub-basins. Dauphin County is located within two of these subbasins; the area north of Peters Mountain is included in the Lower Central Susquehanna River Sub-basin (Sub-basin 6), and the region south of Peters Mountain is incorporated in the Lower Susquehanna River Sub-basin (Sub-basin 7). Sub-basin 6 is primarily drained by Mahantango Creek, Wiconisco Creek, Armstrong Creek, and Powell Creek, which all possess their individual watershed tracts. The Swatara Creek, Clark Creek, Stoney Creek, Fishing Creek, Paxton Creek, Spring Creek, Laurel Run, and Conewago Creek comprise the drainage area and watershed districts within Sub-basin 7. All of these creeks drain westward or southwestward and eventually flow into the Susquehanna River. Map 3- illustrates each of these watersheds. l"state Water Plan: Planning Principles" (Swp-l), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Office of Resources Management, Bureau of Resources Programming, March

17 Another water resource management tool utilized by local agencies is a water quality management program. Focusing on wastewater collection and treatment and on actions that could potentially create any problems with the water quality, these programs address more specific issues than the 5road goals and objectives of the watershed management programs. Surface water, groundwater, floodplains and wetlands are all affected by the supply and flow of water. After precipitation falls to the earth s surface it is pulled by gravity and distributed in one of several methods. The water that is not evaporated back into the atmosphere may infiltrate the ground and journey down through the layers of soil and bedrock. Water that reaches an impervious surface and cannot penetrate the ground flows along the surface as runoff. Surface Water The Susquehanna River and the existing network of streams and their tributaries existing in Dauphin County provide an abundant supply of surface water which is used for consumption, recreation, transportation, and numerous other purposes. t is imperative that this supply of water remain free of pollution because surface water can eventually penetrate the ground and reach the water table and aquifers located in the earth s surface, and eventually the supply of water used for consumption. Communities that are utilizing land planning practices should examine the various characteristics of surface water runoff. Current land use patterns, development, geology, physiography and slopes can all affect the flow patterns of surface water travelling through the watersheds. As additional development occurs and more impervious surfaces are created, the natural drainage patterns are decreased and the water runoff increases or carves new drainage patterns. The topography, or physical land features, of Dauphin County determines the drainage patterns and surface flow attributes. Steeper slopes cause increased runoff and erosion and discourage infiltration to the water table. Groundwater flow directions are controlled in part by the topography. The storage, transmission, and utilization of groundwater is ultimately controlled by the composition of the bedrock geology. Geologic factors such as rock type, intergranual spacing, rock strata inclination, faults, joints, folds, bedding planes, and solution channels have an impact on groundwater movement and availability. Natural groundwater quality is a result of interaction between the groundwater and the bedrock with which it is in contact. The more soluble bedrock types will allow more compounds to become dissolved in the groundwater. Groundwater in highly soluble limestone aquifers will commonly have high hardness values. Surface water quality will ultimately be affected by groundwater quality as it percolates into surface streams as base flow. 3-4

18 The County is located within two physiographic provinces - the Ridge and Valley Province located north of Blue Mountain. Rock types in the ridge section are quartzites, sandstones, and conglomerates. Most of the sandstones, conglomerates, and quartzites are tightly cemented, and in- general, their primary porosity is quite low. These rocks are firm and brittle, and despite their tightly cemented and low primary porosity characteristics, numerous joints have developed. The number and size of joint openings typically decrease with depth. Jointing is the most important factor in groundwater production among quartzites. A major portion of the Valley Province is composed of shales. The shale provides about half of the wells of the valleys with an adequate amount of groundwater for domestic needs. The pore spaces in these shales are generally quite small. Fortunately, however, the shale is broken by joints and it is these joints, as well as spaces between bedding planes, that allow for some water movement. n hard, brittle shale, joints are more open and tend to have somewhat greater yields. The southern section of the County is primarily composed of limestone and dolomites. When dolomites or limestones occur at the surface or in the subsurface, sinkholes may develop from solution opening cave-ins. Surface drainage passes directly into the groundwater system an increases the chance for groundwater pollution. Flood Plains Flood plains, defined as low lying, flat areas adjacent to streams, are susceptible to frequent, periodic flooding. During rainy periods they assist in drainage and buffer the stream from harmful impacts of adjacent land uses. Flood plains should be protected to prevent unnecessary property damage and risk of injury during floods, to provide adequate drainage to sustain excess water during periods of heavy rainfall, to allow for groundwater absorption for recharge of subsurface water, and to maintain a safe water supply. n recent years it has become particularly crucial that flood plains be clearly delineated and preserved from development and other activities that may disturb the natural balance of the water supply. The Federal Emergency Management Agency utilizes the one percent annual chance flood or the 00 year flood as the criteria for its flood plain management and adopted a national standard to avoid any discrimination in delineating flood plains and their floodway and' flood fringe tracts. Map 3-2 illustrates each of the creeks and their respective flood plain zone. Each drains into the extensive flood plain encompassing the Susquehanna River. Municipalities and townships bordering the Susquehanna River closely observe the level of river, particularly during times of heavy rainfall. National cameras focused on the banks of this region in June of 972 when fifteen inches of rain descended on Dauphin County in two days in the wake of Hurricane Agnes, causing the river to crest sixteen feet above 3-5

19 MAP 3- st W/ 4T ER AU Pt iln C PE NP \S\, 'L 9: 32 dah GO CREEK CONSCO CREEK ARK C :f :E ARM STF P OWE :LL t EEK RUN 4 CRE E :K REEK



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