The Lancaster County Planning Department is responsible for all of the planning activities which take place within Lancaster County, Town of Heath Springs, and Town of Kershaw.  The department is responsible for writing all of the regulations which govern development within these three jurisdictions and providing technical support to the County Council and the general public in preparing for the future growth and development of the county. The Planning Staff also provides some technical support to the Town of Van Wyck Council and Planning Commission.  The Planning Department is responsible for assisting the Planning Commission with guidelines to support community conservation efforts, preserve natural resources, and encourage smart growth and development.  

Planning Deadlines

Type Deadline to Submit Public Notice
Rezoning 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Conditional Use Application 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Mixed-Use/Master Plan 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Text Amendment 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Major Subdivision 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days
Road Name Change 45 Days prior to Planning Commission 15 Days

The Planning Department reserves the right to limit the number of total cases heard by the Planning Commission in a given month, which may defer a submitted application to a later month than what is represented in the table above.

Comprehensive Land Use Plan

LancasterCountyLogo LC Small Area Plan Postcard (8) - Copy
Click below to view the
Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan
Click below to view the
Southern Panhandle Small Area Plan


Lancaster County adopted its current Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) on November 28, 2016. Since its adoption, County staff and the development community have identified various issues within the UDO and, while some problems have been addressed during this time, many remain. Concurrently, the County will be initiating the development of a new Comprehensive Plan in FY 2021-22 and cannot wait on the development and adoption of this Comprehensive Plan to address the persisting concerns within the UDO.

Accordingly, in March 2021, Lancaster County sought out the services of a qualified professional consultant to prepare a Diagnosis/Assessment Report of its current UDO and to assist with the subsequent update of the UDO based upon the Report. 

The County envisions this as a two-phase project. Phase One will consist of developing the Diagnosis/Assessment Report. In light of the focused nature of this project, public engagement would be limited to key stakeholders (i.e., Chamber of Commerce, Planning Commission, select developers, and design professionals). Phase Two will consist of the preparation and composition of the UDO update based upon the recommendations within the Report and a list of specific corrections provided by County staff.

In tandem with development of the new Comprehensive Plan, a significant rewrite of the UDO is anticipated to take into account new planning policies and address more substantive structural issues with the UDO.

Phase One:

  • Lancaster County UDO Assessment  (August 26, 2021)

Phase Two:

  • Draft UDO Update (currently not available)