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Regional Growth Management Plan

2040 Update

In May, TCRPC held six outreach meetings on the RGMP, which is currently being updated to reflect future land use impacts. The purpose of the meetings was to explain the RGMP's scenarios and receive public input on its performance measures. The meetings were held throughout the Tri-County region in Carlisle, Carroll Township, Hampden Township, Mifflin Township, Newport and Swatara Township.

TCRPC's Regional Growth Management Plan (RGMP) is at the forefront of our mission to provide planning, technical and financial assistance at the county and municipal levels.

As the foundation for county comprehensive plans, regional transportation plans and other planning updates, the RGMP promotes community growth and revitalization through programs that prioritize intelligent land use, transportation, environmental and economic development decisions.

Just some of the RGMP's benefits to the region's quality of life include lower taxes, lower energy costs, more transportation options, improvements to existing infrastructure, more parks and open spaces, improved access to local food, and better health for all.

As envisioned by TCRPC, regional planning isn't a substitute for local, county, state and federal planning, but rather a supplement to it. Therefore, as economic, social and physical changes occur in the region, the RGMP must be reviewed, reevaluated and amended periodically.

More details can be found below.


The RGMP will serve as a guide for coordinating comprehensive planning among the 103 municipalities, 3 counties and regional planning agency within the Tri-County area. This plan is a working document that will serve as the foundation for future county comprehensive plans, regional transportation plans and other plan updates. Implementation of this plan will be through the municipal planning process and coordination among different agencies. This plan will be a reference for the Region in developing future development goals and strategies.

The RGMP is designed to encourage inter-jurisdictional cooperation of ongoing planning for land use, transportation, economic and cultural development and to revise physical growth policies to the year 2035 for Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties.


  • Preparing and maintaining a coordinated and uniform data collection and analysis that provide on a continuous basis; summary data on population, land use, natural resources, public services and utilities of the region;
  • Promoting cooperation among regional, county and local planning activities;
  • Promoting a better understanding of the interrelationships between land use and transportation, public utilities, services and of factors influencing physical growth and development within the region;
  • Increase awareness of the effects individual local community plans have on the development of surrounding communities;
  • Reinvigorating formal and informal mechanisms for continuous public participation and public involvement within TCRPC's planning program.


Every planning project and process must embrace a formal structure to ensure that it is carried out in a logical and consistent manner. Typically, the plan process involves several important steps including:

  • Plan Process and Study Design
  • Inventory
  • Analysis and Forecasts
  • Formulation of Objectives and Standards
  • Plan Design
  • Plan Evaluation
  • Plan Refinement and Adoption

Public involvement initiatives and plan implementation activities are generally initiated and considered throughout the planning process. Vigorous public involvement during the plan process assists in forming public and/or constituent "ownership" of the plan and its policies so that realization of the plans may be fostered.

During the design phase of the RGMP, key work elements were outlined in the 1996 State Planning Assistance Grant applications. The 1996 grant was to define Planned Growth Areas for the Tri-County Region and complimentary development goals and objectives to be coordinated with Regional Transportation Plans and other mutually supportive plans. Since then, new elements, such as Commercial and Economic Development, have been added to enable to plan to represent a larger portion of the Region's planning activities.

The following is an outline of the plan:

  • Introduction and Brief Review of Regional Planning in the Tri-County Region
  • Regional Growth Policy Statements: This contains the formal set of policy statements related to the PGA concept and the overall Regional Growth Management Plan.
  • Population Trends and Projections: Presents a description and Analysis of the Region’s resident population and historical trends and how the data is used in the planning process.  Population projections to the year 2020 are the most important component of this element.
  • Element 1, Land Use: Description of the past and present land use patterns in the Tri-County Region are presented as well as the results of the 1997 Regional land use survey activities and vacant land use study. This Element also includes the 2009 Anderson Land Use maps
  • Element 2, Regional Housing Trends and Needs: Presents a brief description and analysis of the Region’s housing unit trends.  An important component of Element 2 addresses the number of needed housing units as housing relates to population projections.
  • Element 3, Commercial and Economic Development: Presents a brief description and analysis of the Region’s commercial and economic development trends.
  • Element 4, Transportation System Overview: Describes the present transportation system, as well as, planned improvements to the transportation and transit systems.  Element 4 also discusses the linkage between transportation and land use planning and the anticipated linkages of the PGA policies.
  • Element 5, Community Facilities and Services: Consists of an inventory of services in the region, including current levels of service and future demands on the systems.
  • Element 6, Natural and Environmental Resources: An inventory of select natural features used in the development of the Community Service Areas, Planned Growth Areas and other land use policies for the Region.  Floodplains, wetlands, agriculture land for preservation, historical and other regionally significant features were researched.
  • Element 7, Historic, Cultural and Scenic Resources: An inventory of historic and culturally significant features of the Region.
  • CSA and PGA Delineation and Scenarios: Establishes the basic definitions and assumptions to be used in creating the CSA’s and PGA’s for the Tri-County Region. Additionally, it introduces 3 scenarios that were developed to help illustrate different types of development patterns in the Region
  • Implementation Recommendations: A set of implementation strategies and actions to realize the proposed Regional Growth Management Plan

The RGMP is a working document and public comment is always welcome. For more information on the status of the project please contact TCRPC at 717-234-2639 or