City leaders still developing new vision for Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s a plan that’s supposed to give a glimpse into the future of Harrisburg, but the city’s planning director, Geoffrey Knight, says it’s nowhere near finished.

“There’s still time to comment, and we encourage everybody to comment,” said Knight.

The goal is to create a vision that guides growth and funding.

Three years ago, the city hired a consultant, using $195,000 of taxpayer money, but leaders weren’t impressed with what they got.

Now, Knight says planners are using the information they received to revise the rest of the 400-page document themselves, and hoping it doesn’t cost much extra.

“I know the city council has allocated in the budget for 2018 $10,000 toward further work,” Knight said.

The comprehensive plan, which is required by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, has been more than 40 years in the making.

Throughout the long process, Knight says community members have stressed changes in certain areas: more diversity, new parks, stricter code enforcement, and improvements in transportation.

“We’re a state capital and that means we have a lot of commuters come in during the day,” said Knight. “The community has definitely asked us for more pedestrian and bicyclist facilities and more mass transit options.”

What happens next and when is all up to the planning commission. The group meets in early February, but Knight says it hasn’t set a deadline to get the job done.

“We want to make sure it’s done right, not done fast,” Knight said.

Planners are still accepting feedback via email and at City Hall.

Online: Draft Comprehensive Plan

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