What We Do
The Department of Community Planning & Economic Development is charged with implementing an economic development strategy that: promotes the establishment, stabilization, and expansion of small businesses and micro-enterprises in the City; increases access to capital and credit financing for development activities, job creation and retention efforts; promotes minority and women-owned business development and participation; expands employment opportunities for City residents; develops vacant and under-utilized residential, commercial, industrial and manufacturing sites
to attract new investment in the City; and assists developers through the City’s zoning, land development, subdivision, historical, construction and other City approval processes.
CPED works closely with the Lancaster City Alliance to implement the Building on Strength Economic Development Plan adopted in 2015 and with other organizations promoting the economic revitalization of the City, including SACA and SACA Development Company, the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, Lancaster Equity, ASSETS, the Community Action Partnership and the City’s neighborhood organizations, such as SoWe, SEES, South Ann Concerned Neighborhoods, Churchtowne, Lancaster Jewels and Northeast Neighbors United.
The Department Director provides management support for development of the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone, the City’s State Keystone Opportunity Zone, the federal Opportunity Zone Program, and Lancaster Redevelopment Area Plan. The Department also staffs the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone Authority, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster Industrial Development Authority. The Director serves on the Board of the Downtown Investment District Authority and the Lancaster City Alliance.
The Department’s neighborhood revitalization strategy focuses on enhancing the quality of life in our neighborhoods with: improved City parks and recreational facilities and community facilities serving neighborhoods; pro-active property code enforcement to confront nuisance crimes and other neighborhood disruptions; maintenance of the city’s housing stock and to ensure the availability of housing opportunities for all income levels; restoration and preservation of properties including those with historic or architectural significance; housing rehabilitation and maintenance, and promotion of home ownership; and addressing lead hazards in residential properties and home-based day care centers.
The Department staffs the Lancaster Property Reinvestment Board, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster’s Vacant and Blighted Property Disposition Program and the newly established Land Bank Authority. Through the auspices of the first two Boards, the City is able to acquire, rehabilitate, and resell properties that have been condemned for more than sixty days and blighted residential properties that have been vacant for more than three months. The Land Bank Authority is another tool that enables the City to acquire properties at Tax Claim and Judicial Sales for future redevelopment, as well as make strategic acquisitions to further economic development goals of the City.
CPED includes the Housing and Economic Development Division, the Community Development Division, the Bureau of Code Compliance and Inspections, the Bureau of Planning and the Lancaster Office of Promotions.