INDEPENDENCE TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT Lancaster, Pennsylvania
The City of Lancaster, PA has a 250 year history of growth and commerce. Lancaster County has a very progressive attitude towards zoning; many in the county would rather see high density projects than 1-10 acre zoning. Preserving the rural character and agricultural heritage (Amish) of the county, however, is very important. The site is farmland with some tree stands and specimen trees throughout. It is surrounded by working farms, some residential development, a rail line, and a highway to the North. Topography is rolling hills and steep slopes and a stream and wetland swath runs the entire length of the property near the southern end.
The Developer of Independence, Rob Bowman, founded Charter Homes in 1990. The company began as a merchant builder in Central Pennsylvania but soon became more interested in development. Rob’s initial interest with New Urbanism began with his quest to develop a unique product in central Pennsylvania. Andres Duany of DPZ led a week-long charrette in October 2005 to do a masterplan for the 309-acre greenfield site. The project is a perfect candidate for implementation of the SmartCode and will serve as a model for both Lancaster County and Central Pennsylvania. The site is located within the targeted growth area of the county and located on the fringe of the urban boundary, a 10-minute drive from historic Lancaster, PA and about a 30-minute drive from Harrisburg, PA. It will serve as a model for establish- ing the urban edge for growth in the county and also as a model for “good” density. A train station is projected to be built in 3-5 years which will allow residents to commute to downtown Harrisburg in 30 minutes. Rail lines con- nect to Philadelphia to the East.
A preliminary program suggests approximately 3,200 residential units. 500,000 - 1 million S.F. of commercial is projected to be built over 20 years. A density of 25-30 units per acre is planned to be built near the train station along with 4-5-story buildings. A variety of commercial, retail and mixed-use buildings will be located at its core with single family homes and townhomes at its edge.
MICHAEL GRAVES & ASSOCIATES with DUANY PLATER-ZYBERK AND COMPANY