Planning Toolkit

Our planning toolkit offers a wide variety of techniques and policies that promote Smart Growth principles.

Browse the toolkit by topic below or on the sidebar navigation of each page.

Feel free to contact us with any questions at (717) 234-2639 or


Section 207 of the PA Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) requires a municipality’s planning agency to keep a full record of its business and submit an annual report of those activities to its governing body by March 1 of the following year. Although a requirement, this section of the MPC is often overlooked. In fact, only 26 percent of municipalities complete their annual reports.

The report not only fulfills the MPC requirement, it also serves as a resource document for the governing body and its residents. The document typically illustrates the subdivision and land development activity that took place in the previous year. It can also illustrate membership changes or special topics the planning commission may have worked on or considered, as well as reviews of zoning ordinances and map changes, subdivision ordinances, street vacations and capital improvement programs.

The report has no required minimum length (some are only a few pages long) and can be as complex as the community feels is necessary to convey the information regarding their activities.

TCRPC provides a template on its website to help communities complete their annual reports. You can find it here.

Image of a downtown business district

Building Stock

  • Brownfield Redevelopment: Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties that are often contaminated from past use.

  • Green Building Standards: Simple building code fixes in can create building stock that uses less energy, manages stormwater better and provides healthier air quality.

  • Accessory Dwelling Units: Additional living space on the same property is perfect for aging parents, college students and other tenants.

Cultural Resources

Illustration of street design with buildings


Land Development

Image of farm with long wooden fence

Open Spaces


  • Access Management: Controls how cars enter and exit a roadway.

  • Complete Streets Policy: Transportation policies that require consideration of all modes of travel.

  • Impact Fees: Allow local governments to assess improvement costs to serve new developments and pass them on to the developer.

  • Traffic Calming: A variety of strategies to slow traffic and alert drivers to the presence of other transportation modes.

  • Walkability - A Short Guide: Walkable communities can improve a community's character, equity and access.