Preserving Lancaster County’s identity requires managing the use of land in thoughtful and productive ways. There are places in the county that are appropriate for growth. Likewise, there are places in the county that should be protected from sprawl and preserved as agricultural land and natural areas.
The Hourglass wants to see county residents prosper. It wants to see the city continue to be a dynamic blend of innovation and vitality. We want the county’s urban places to be successful and safe places to live, work, and play. Farmland, open lands, woodlands, and natural habitats should be preserved. The Conestoga River and other major tributaries of the Susquehanna River should have pure, clean water.
If measures are not taken to maintain Lancaster County’s uniqueness, while also enabling appropriate economic growth, the county’s special identity and sense of place will be lost. Pressures exist to make this place just like any other, and to bury irreplaceable farmland under asphalt, subdivisions, houses, and big box stores. Similar pressures exist to tear down our historic fabric and replace it with automobile-oriented development.
The threats come not only from insensitive, land-consumptive development, but from banking policies and capital restrictions, a lack of investment in transportation alternatives, a fragmented government structure, an unwillingness to spend the resources required for land stewardship and water quality restoration, and a lack of resilient infrastructure.