Chapter 14        

Existing Land Use                                                                                       




It is impossible to plan for the future land use without first understanding what patterns exist today. This chapter discusses the existing land uses by category and acreage in the Washington Township/Waynesboro Region.  The approximate acreage of each category is provided for a comprehensive overview of how land was utilized at the time this Plan was developed.  Existing land use patterns not only have a significant impact on the development of the future land use plan, but they affect circulation within the area and the demand for community facilities and services as well.  By understanding how land is utilized, one can plan for uses that may be desired or that are currently lacking in the Region. 


Franklin County Planning supplied the tax map information for the Borough, and Washington Township provided base GIS (Geographic Information System) information to create the Existing Land Use Map for the planning area.  This data was based on the Franklin County tax assessment of each parcel in the study area.  Extensive field land use verification was performed by SSM to confirm the accuracy of the data, and the Joint Planning Committee provided insight as well.  


Existing Land Uses are classified into the following types for mapping purposes:

·        Single-Family Residential

·        Multi‑Family Residential

·        Mobile Home Park

·        Rural/Agriculture

·        Commercial

·        Industrial

·        Public/Semi-Public

·        Forested Land

·        Mixed Use

·        Private Recreation

Land Use PatternS


The Washington Township/Waynesboro Region has experienced population growth and expansion over the past twenty years.  The Borough of Waynesboro and surrounding areas of Washington Township create a center of population and economic activity in the southeast section of Franklin County, and provide a wide array of services to the planning region as well as surrounding municipalities.  Though the pressures of residential development have extended from the Borough and along the PA Route 16 corridor in Washington Township, the majority of the Region remains rural in nature.


Residential development dominates the Borough of Waynesboro, making up nearly 58% of the Borough’s land use.  However, there are other characteristics and land use categories within the Borough which make it unique, such as the downtown commercial area, industrial areas, and public areas.  This commercial area, located along Main Street, plays a role as a regional community center for area residents, providing shops, restaurants, taverns, and professional offices.  Public/semi-public uses, nearly 18% of the existing land use, consist mostly of the Waynesboro Area School district facilities, located in the southeastern portion of the Borough, Memorial Park, and the Borough golf course.   


Washington Township has also experienced residential and commercial development, generally extending out from the Borough in Wayne Heights, along the main transportation corridor, PA Route 16.  The rest of the Township, however, is dominated by agricultural uses and Michaux State Forest which make up over 54% and 25% respectively, of the existing land uses.   


Below are the descriptions of each of the land use categories displayed on the Existing Land Use Map, as well as acreage developed under each category.  Trends are discussed following the descriptions.




Figure 14.1:  Existing Land Use Allocation (Acres)

 Figures in acres; percentages may not sum to 100.0 due to rounding error.   Note that the “residential” category is divided into “single-family” and “multi-family.”


Waynesboro Borough

Washington Township



  1,250.6  (57.9%)

   3,865.8    (15.5%)

5,116.4    (18.8%)


    1,166.9  (54%)

     3,816.7  (15.3%)

    4,983.6  (18.3 %)


    83.7       (3.9%)

       49.1      (0.2%)

    132.8       (0.5%)

Rural / Agriculture

  130.3   (6.0%)

 13,482.9   (53.9%)

13,613.2  (60.1%)


  384.5   (17.8%)

    443.7     (1.8%)

828.2       (3.1%)


  153.1   (7.1%)

    424.5     (1.7%)

577.6       (2.1%)


  160.1   (7.4%)

    220.7     (0.9%)

380.8       (1.4%)

Mixed Use

   19.2    (0.9%)


19.2        >0.1%

Mobile Home Park


      93.8     (0.4%)

93.8         (0.4%)

Forested Land

    56.7  (2.7%)

    6,206.5  (24.8%)

6,263.2    (23.1%)

Private Recreation


     281.1    (1.1%)

281.1       (1.0%)


      8.2   (0.4%)

     1.8       >0.1%

 10.0         >0.1%








Single-Family Residential


Specific development types included in this category are single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings (when constructed as semi-detached or “twin” houses), and mobile homes.


The Borough of Waynesboro was developed primarily in a grid pattern with blocks created by streets intersecting at right angles, alleyways, and sidewalks on both sides of each street.  The vast majority of the residential uses within the Borough are single family residential uses. 


The residential areas of Washington Township do not have this same grid growth pattern, even where located adjacent to the Borough, so there is no real sense of extension of Waynesboro.  The Township developed mostly as a suburban community, with the largest concentrations of single-family residential uses located in the Villages of Blue Ridge Summit and Zullinger, as well as an increasing number of residential subdivisions throughout the Township.


Multi-Family Residential


Multi-family residential uses are scattered throughout the Township and Borough, and cover substantially less total acreage than single-family residential housing.  In the Region (most prevalent in the Borough) this category contains a large number of apartments and apartment complexes.  This category consists of the following specific development types: three-family residences, condominiums, apartments (including those over garages), residential conversions, and boarding/rooming houses.  Multi-family uses within the Borough are generally scattered throughout established single-family neighborhoods.


Mobile Home Park


This category includes the acreage from the seven (7) mobile home parks found in Washington Township. 


Mixed Use


This category is only found in Waynesboro, and includes properties that contain both commercial and residential uses.  The majority of these uses are found on Main Street in downtown Waynesboro.




The agriculture/agribusiness category consists of areas currently or typically in active agricultural use (cropland, pastureland, dairy facilities, barns, and stables) along with agriculturally based businesses, and in some cases, open space.   Agricultural land uses encompass 13,613 acres and make up over 60% of the Region’s existing land use.




Public and semi-public lands include cemeteries; buildings and lands owned by the municipal, county, state, or federal governments (including police stations); recreational, cultural, and park facilities; libraries; schools; churches; and fire stations.  Specific descriptions and examples of this use are provided in the Community Facilities & Services Plan.  Michaux State Forest, though publicly owned, is part of the Forested Land category, as it presents a better representation of the actual existing land use.




Commercial uses consist of all properties where goods and services are sold, ranging from fast food establishments, convenient stores and shopping centers, to professional offices.  The majority of commercial uses in the Region are found along the PA Route 16 Corridor in Washington Township and Waynesboro.



The industrial land use category includes all properties being used for manufacturing and processing facilities, research and development facilities, metal and woodworking shops,

truck terminals, and office/warehouse uses.  Most of the Region’s industrial acreage is located in Waynesboro and the Wharf Road Industrial Park in western Washington Township.


Private Recreation


The Private Recreation category includes the Waynesboro Country Club, as well as lands owned by private entities.


Forested Land


This contains all of the forested areas within the Region, including Michaux State Forest.  Most of the forested areas are located in the eastern portion of Washington Township where the topography is rolling to hilly.





Analysis of the Existing Land Use Map reveals several land use trends in the Region.   The Region’s residential uses are found predominantly within and immediately surrounding the Borough of Waynesboro, the PA Route 16 corridor, and the Villages of  Zullinger, Blue Ridge Summit, and Rouzerville.  The Region continues to be dominated by rural and agricultural uses, particularly the western portion of Washington Township.


Commercial uses are concentrated within the PA Route 16 Corridor and the Waynesboro central business district.  With the development of Washington Township Boulevard, commercial uses will most likely expand in Washington Township.  Unfortunately, this could signal a trend which is occurring nationwide to relocate businesses which serve the day‑to‑day needs of residents, to shopping areas outside Boroughs.    One of the most important factors to the economy of a region is a healthy commercial and industrial base.  A healthy downtown in Waynesboro would benefit the region as a whole.