Dauphin County calls comprehensive plan first of its kind

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Dauphin County Planning Commission says its new comprehensive plan is unlike anything that’s come before it.

For the first time, the county’s 10-year plan exists primarily online.

Dauphincountycompplan.org is meant to be a snapshot of where Dauphin County wants to go in the next decade.

“I’ve seen many of the plans sit on the shelf,” county Commissioner Jeff Haste said at a public hearing Wednesday morning. “The thing that excites me about this is that it appears to be the first in the commonwealth.”

Easily accessible and designed to be understood in plain language, the plan is a contrast to the previous one which was presented in the form of a 300-page document.

“I would like for folks to come back and say it was an active and useful tool,” Haste added.

The plan focuses on three goals: environment protection, economic development, and community development.

Each goal was developed with help from the community and about 40 implementation partners.

County planning coordinator Jerry Duke says the plan was created to be interactive, so updates should be expected. It should also be thought of as a process.

“What we are looking at doing is not just having a plan that’s just here,” said Duke, “it’s more of a process, saying we are going to set  up committees to meet the goals and objectives.”

No clear long-term goal has been made set, but the planning commission says it will meet with partners to discuss progress.

Haste said the county will be sure to have infrastructure in place and resources available.

“We really need to let the community and the business take and grow our communities,” he said. “We [government] need to be the ones that aid and help. Not really drive it.”

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