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Community Service Areas establish where significant public investment has already occurred or can be reasonably expected to occur based on current plans and policies. The primary factors in establishing CSAs are transportation infrastructure and public sewer and water service areas, although other factors are also considered, including access to public transit, emergency services and community services. Due to the different development patterns and characteristics of our region’s communities, the standard to establish a CSA varies from rural areas to suburban/urban areas.



Established as part of TCRPC’s first Regional Growth Management Plan in 1994, Planned Growth Areas delineate target areas appropriate for more intense economic activity, urban and suburban residential development and areas more suitable for rural development, agriculture and conservation areas. PGA designations do not mean development is not planned or expected to occur in non-PGA areas. Rather, the housing and commercial activity in PGAs will typically support higher densities and intensities of development due to the proximity to available public services, and should be the first preference of municipalities as they plan for and manage future growth.

Planned Growth Areas are based on the following generalized planning typologies:

  • Urban Cores: Urban areas fully served with public facilities and accessible transportation networks.

  • Rural Cores: Rural towns with partial public facilities, typically little to no access to mass transit, possibly linked through connections of any public service with Growth Areas.

  • Suburban Cores: Suburban and town areas with locally oriented public utilities and services and limited mass transit access, with the possibilities of connections of public services between Urban Core and Growth Areas.

  • Rural Reserve Areas: Areas characterized by very low-density residential development that will be necessary to sustain the population in perpetuity.

  • Conservation Areas: Environmentally sensitive areas less conducive to development, including agricultural and forested areas.

  • Urban Cores, Rural Cores and Suburban Cores are considered to be the Planned Growth Areas. 


Pedestrian walking along Wertzville Road (Route 944) in Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County

Planned Growth Areas map

Planned Growth Areas interactive map application

Community Service Areas

Community Service Areas interactive map application

This update of the RGMP included an analysis of the existing Planned Growth Areas and their ability to accommodate our region’s projected growth. Modifications of the Planned Growth Areas were made in areas for which the current designations were not reflective of current development patterns or unable to accommodate projected growth for the municipality, with the modifications shaped by the results of our scenario planning, our established Community Service Areas and the municipal comprehensive plans.


  • Manage growth toward areas with existing or planned public facilities and services, consistent with the identified Community Service Areas and Planned Growth Areas

  • Promote the creation of livable, sustainable communities through community design which accommodates a range of lifestyles, age groups and working conditions and development patterns which promote active living and access to recreation, service, food and a multi-modal transportation network

  • Encourage an adequate amount and mix of safe and sustainable utility facilities and services consistent with projections through 2040

  • Encourage the use of and planning for “green infrastructure” and other clean, efficient innovations

  • Promote compact and infill development and redevelopment consistent with capacities and planned facilities and services.

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