Chapter 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Regional Setting and Adjacent Planning                                           




Although the jurisdiction of local government ends at the municipal line, the surrounding communities unavoidably affect the daily lives of the residents.  Wise planning requires us to identify and to evaluate the effect of various features beyond the borders of  Waynesboro and Washington Township.  This chapter will place the Region within the context of the larger community and will identify those regional features that have the most direct impact upon residents.  This chapter also includes an analysis of the Franklin County Comprehensive Plan, as well as the Comprehensive Plans for those surrounding municipalities that are adjacent to the Waynesboro/Washington Township Planning Region.



Geographic Setting and Influences


Waynesboro Borough and Washington Township are situated in southeastern Franklin County in South Central Pennsylvania, and have relatively easy access to some of the northeast United States’ most populous cities and markets.  The Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas are all within an hour’s drive, while the smaller urban areas of Hagerstown, Harrisburg, York, Gettysburg, and Frederick are all less than an hour’s drive.  The PA Route 16 Corridor bisects the region and provides access to the regional Interstate Highway System (Interstate 81 and PA Route 15), as well as a main corridor for economic development.  The Region contains a variety of land uses.  Agricultural uses dominate the western part of the Region in Washington Township; Commercial and residential developments, as well as the Borough of Waynesboro, are found on the PA Route 16 Corridor; and suburban residential developments and rural residential areas are located throughout Washington Township, particularly in the center of the Township.


As discussed earlier, the region is conveniently located near population centers, however, is secluded enough to retain a rural feel.  The impending re-development of Fort Ritchie, in Cascade, Maryland has the potential to profoundly impact the character of the Region.  Fort Ritchie redevelopment plans include 673 new housing units and project 4,550 jobs to be created within the next ten years. 


The main villages in the Region include Rouzerville, Zullinger, and Blue Ridge Summit, with additional small settlements scattered throughout Washington Township.


Figure 2.1 is a base map of the Region, and shows the political boundaries as well as the road network.


Commercial Areas and Employment Centers


Most of the local commercial areas are located along the PA Route 16 Corridor, and to a lesser extent in the Borough, the PA Routes 997 and 316 Corridors.  Most of the commercial areas outside of Waynesboro are located in the vicinity of Rouzerville in Washington Township, the largest of which is a new shopping center at Washington Township Boulevard.  Establishments such as fast food restaurants, gas stations, auto repair facilities, strip commercial, and small business are most prevalent. There are no large enclosed shopping malls in the Region, with the closest being located in the Hagerstown, Maryland area.  


There are a variety of employment centers and industries in the Region, with most of the larger ones located in the Borough of Waynesboro.  Johnson Controls Refrigeration Systems, the Waynesboro Hospital, Cinetic Landis Corp., Landis Systems, the Waynesboro Area School District, Regency Thermographers,  Wal-Mart, Loews and Tyco Corporation comprise some of the larger employment centers in the Region.













The Franklin County Comprehensive Plan


The Land Use and Housing component of the Franklin County Comprehensive Plan recommends an orderly pattern of land uses that are compatible between uses and municipal borders.  The intent of the plan is to discourage low density sprawled development that consumes excess amounts of land and intrudes into important agricultural and natural areas.  The most efficient locations for new development are typically near boroughs and villages.


The Franklin County Comprehensive Plan designates the Waynesboro/Washington Township planning region as the following land use categories, in order of prevalence:


-                     Agricultural Conservation;

-                     Low and Medium Residential;

-                     Major Recreation;

-                     Environmental Conservation;

-                     Industrial;

-                     Commercial;

-                     Major Public/Semi-Public/Institutional


The Agricultural Conservation designation contains the most acreage in the Region, with the majority of the acreage in the western portion of Washington Township, and is described by the Plan as “large concentrations of prime farmland that are not within local growth areas.”


Low and Medium Residential is found predominately in and around the Borough of Waynesboro, the villages, Washington Township Boulevard, and along the PA Route 16 corridor.  The Plan describes this category as “suitable for low, medium, or high density residential development”.


Major Recreation is concentrated in eastern Washington Township and includes lands within Michaux State Forest.  Other lands include Township and Borough parklands and golf courses.


Environmental Conservation is found in southeastern Washington Township, and includes Happel’s Meadow wetland area.  The Plan describes this designation as “concentrations of very steeply sloped land that is not in public recreation ownership.  These areas are intended to be limited to low intensity recreation uses and very low density housing (such as one unit per 5 acres).”


The remaining categories of Commercial, Industrial, and Public / Semi-Public / Institutional make up the smallest amounts of land use categories included in the Region.  The definition of these categories are self-explanatory, as they are ubiquitous to most comprehensive plans.


The Plan designates the four villages in the Region, Rouzerville, Wayne Heights, Zullinger, and Blue Ridge Summit as Village Centers.  Waynesboro Borough is designated as an area in need of a Revitalized Historic Downtown. 





The Waynesboro/Washington Township planning region is bordered by six municipalities: four in Pennsylvania, including Antrim and Quincy Townships in Franklin County, and Liberty Township and Hamiltonban Township in Adams County; and two in Maryland, Washington County and Frederick County.  The following is a brief summary of the recommendations of the comprehensive plans or zoning ordinances of adjacent municipalities.


Antrim Township


Antrim Township is located to the west of Washington Township, where it is surrounds the Borough of Greencastle.  Antrim Township had a 2005 population estimate of 13,459 persons, as reported by the US Census Bureau.


The Antrim Township zoning ordinance is in the process of being revised, but currently designates the border with Washington Township as Agricultural Residential, which allows up to 3 dwelling units per acre.  Non-residential uses allowed include agriculture, extraction, recreation, landfills, and campground.


The Antrim Township Comprehensive Plan designates the border as Agricultural/ Vacant, in which the goal of the designation is to preserve agricultural land. 


The 2006 Antrim Township Open Space Plan identifies a natural area along the border with Washington Township just south of PA Route 16.  This natural area is identified as a wetland, and is included in the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory as well as the County Natural Areas Inventory.


Quincy Township


Quincy Township is located north of Washington Township.  Qunicy Township had a 2005 population estimate of 5,837 persons, as reported by the US Census Bureau.


The majority of the Township is rural, though there has been an increase in suburbanization, especially between the Borough of Mont Alto and Waynesboro.   


Quincy Township does not have a current comprehensive plan, however, the 2005 zoning ordinance designates the majority of the border with Washington Township as Agriculture.  The ordinance also designates smaller areas as R-2 Residential (near South Old Forge Road); R-1 Residential (Mentzer Gap Road and Polidor Road); and Commercial (east of Wayne Road).  


The Agriculture District allows a minimum 2 acre lot for residential use, while the R-1 and R-2 Districts allow a density range of 10,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet per lot, depending on the availability of public sewer and public water services.


Liberty Township, Adams County


Liberty Township, Adams County is located due east of Washington Township along the PA Route 16 corridor.  Liberty Township had a 2005 population estimate of 1,237 persons, as reported by the US Census Bureau. 


The Adams County Comprehensive Plan designates the border with Washington Township as Parks, Permanent Open Space, and Preservation Areas, and Agriculture, Resource Conservation, and Very Low Density Residential. 


The Parks, Permanent Open Space, and Preservation Areas are recommended for low intensity recreation, limited agriculture, and forest management.  The Agriculture, Resource Conservation, and Very Low Density Residential areas are recommended as low growth areas where recreational and residential uses are allowed only to the extent that new development does not conflict with agriculture or degrade areas of scenic beauty.


Hamiltonban Township, Adams County


Hamiltonban Township is generally located north of Route 16, extending past the northern boundary of Washington Township.  Adjoining land in Hamiltonban from the vicinity of Route 16 to Gum Springs Road is zoned Industrial, reflecting rail facilities and resource-related industry.  This is inconsistent with Low Density Residential and Forest Conservation designation on the Region’s future land use plan, and any industrial uses in Hamiltonban should be encouraged to buffer impacts on non-industrial uses.


Land immediately north of Gum Springs Road is zoned Low Density Residential.  In the Low Density Residential zone, single family detached dwellings are permitted at a density of one dwelling unit per acre, and conservation by design development is promoted.  The density of one dwelling unit per acre is slightly higher than the density proposed for the Forest Conservation area in the Region.


North of the Low Density Residential zone, land is zoned Woodland Conservation.  This land is in the Michaux State Forest, and such zoning is consistent with the Forest Conservation designation in the Region.


Washington County, Maryland


Washington County, Maryland comprises the southern border of Washington Township.   The 2002 Land Use Plan from the Washington County Comprehensive Plan designates the border as Agriculture.


The Plan recommends that the agricultural areas of the Great Hagerstown Valley, which includes high quality soils and a gently rolling topography ideal for farming, remain in agricultural use.  The Plan allows residential development at a density of one unit per five acres, with clustering of residential development permitted as a development option.  


Due to the impending redevelopment of the Fort Ritchie Military Facility, the Plan identifies the Lakeside Corporate Center/Cascade area as a Special Planning Area.  This area was created as an overlay district to coordinate residential and economic development in areas previously established as Rural areas. 


Frederick County, Maryland


Land in the vicinity of Blue Ridge Summit is adjoined by land in Frederick County, Maryland which is in the Thurmont Planning Area.  The County Comprehensive Land Use Plan, adopted in 1998, is being updated.  Currently, land adjoining Blue Ridge Summit, in the area of the railroad tracks and Sabillasville Road, is designated Rural Community.  This reflects development in around Sabillasville, and abuts Commercial Neighborhood in the Region. 


Land east of the Rural Community land is currently designated Agricultural/Rural.  This is consistent with the Forest Conservation designation in the Region.


Summary/Planning Implications


The Region’s location adjacent to population centers, combined with the access provided by PA Route 16 and nearby Interstate 81, the availability of public sewer and water service, and the presence of vacant land for development, will have a powerful influence upon development.  The Franklin County Comprehensive Plan designates the Borough and adjacent areas in the Township as suitable for growth.    


The surrounding municipalities land uses are generally compatible and consistent with those of Waynesboro and Washington Township.


The top attraction of the Region is the rural character and quality of life.  The  Township is at a turning point, where too much development will jeopardize the Region’s rural quality.  It will be important for the Township to formulate growth policies to allow for the anticipated residential development, while at the same time preserving the Region’s rural character which makes it such a pleasant place to live. 



























HISTORY:                 Established  1779

LAND AREA:            38.9 square miles


POPULATION 2005 (estimate):       11,884

                                                            1990-2005 growth rate of  6.8%

                                                            Median household income is  $45,165 (2000)


GOVERNMENT:    Township governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors.  Boards and Commissions include the Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board.  The day-to-day operations are administered by the Township Manager. 

                             In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:  33rd Senatorial District and  90th Legislative District.

                                    In the U.S. House of Representatives: 9th Congressional District of Pennsylvania


SEWER AND WATER:         Washington Township Municipal Authority (WTMA) and Waynesboro Borough Authority (WBA)


EDUCATION:         Waynesboro Area School District – Public school for grades K through 12.

                                    Student population - 4,261   (2008-09)



TOWNSHIP OFFICE:       Washington Township

                                                 13013 Welty Road

                                                 Waynesboro, PA  17268

                                                 (717) 762-3128









HISTORY:                 Established 1749


LAND AREA:            3.46 square miles



POPULATION 2005 (estimate):       9,700  

                                                            1990-2005 growth rate of  1.3%

                                                            Median household income is $31,574 (2000)


GOVERNMENT:      Borough governed by a six-member Borough Council and Mayor.  Other Boards and Commissions include the Zoning Hearing Board and Planning Commission. The day-to-day operations are administered by the Borough Manager.

                             In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:  33rd Senatorial District and 90th Legislative District.

                                    In the U.S. House of Representatives: 9th Congressional District of Pennsylvania



SEWER AND WATER:         Waynesboro Borough Authority (WBA)



EDUCATION:           Waynesboro Area School District – Public school for grades K through 12.

                                    Student population -     4,261   (2008-09)



BOROUGH OFFICE:           Borough of Waynesboro

                                                57 East Main Street

                                                Waynesboro, PA  17268




Regional Assets


At the beginning of the planning process, a list of some of the many assets of the Region was prepared.  The following is that list:


Michaux State Forest


Appalachian Trail


Blue Ridge Summit/Monterey Historic Resort Area


Recreational Resources

      Pine Hill Recreation Area

      Red Run Park

      Soccer Complex

      Monterey Country Club

      Waynesboro Golf Course

      Waynesboro Country Club

      Memorial Park

      Renfrew Museum and Park

      Northside Pool and Park

      Rotary Park

      Mount Airy Avenue Park

      South Franklin Street Park

      Mountain State Park (Abutting Region)

      Mont Alto State Park (Nearby the Region)

      Happel’s Meadows Wetlands

      Antietam Meadow Park

      Bailey’s Run Recreational Area


Walkable Downtown Waynesboro


Waynesboro Hospital






Existing Industries/Industrial Parks


East and West Branches of Antietam Creek


School Facilities


Penn State Mont Alto Campus


Architecture/Historic Resources/Industrial Heritage Museum


Alexander Hamilton Memorial and Blue Ridge Summit Libraries


Existing Infrastructure Systems


Existing Organizations

      Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce

      Vision 2015

      Waynesboro Area Communities That Care

      Main Street Waynesboro

      Waynesboro Industrial Development Corporation

      Waynesboro Historical Society

      One Mountain

      Rotary Club

      Lions Club(s)

      Rouzerville Business Association

      Antietam Watershed

      Rouzerville Ruritan


Agricultural Land


Proximity to Wilson College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Hagerstown Community College, Shippensburg University, Gettysburg College, and Westminster College,


Proximity to metropolitan areas, which are shopping and cultural destinations, but also sources of tourism.


Regional Issues


Prior to preparing goals and objectives for the Region, major issues were identified based upon discussions with the Steering Committee and input from the municipal planning commissions and governing bodies.  Categories of major issues are noted below:


            Water Resources


            Agricultural Preservation


            Historic and Natural Resource Protection


            Growth Management


            Economic Development


            Borough Revitalization


            Quality of Life


            Infrastructure Improvements


            Greenway Planning




More specific issues of particular importance which were identified are listed below:


          What steps should be taken to preserve agricultural resources in Washington Township? 


          Can woodland and open space be retained? 


          How can sufficient water quality and supply be provided for in the Region?   


          How can economic vitality in the Region be maintained and enhanced? 


          How can vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle circulation in the Region be improved, existing residential neighborhoods be maintained, existing business areas kept viable and desirable new businesses encouraged to locate in the Region? 


          What is the appropriate land use mix and character of development for Waynesboro?  What types of building re-use should be encouraged?  What policies should be followed regarding main streets? 


          How can land use planning for the Region be coordinated with planning for sewer and water facilities, to direct growth to the appropriate areas with a mix of residential, commercial and industrial development that can enhance the tax base in the Region? 


          How can water resources in the area be protected, including groundwater resources, surface water and stream corridors?  


          How can the future sewer needs in the Township be addressed?  What should be done to address current problems and serve growth areas? 


          What is the feasibility of a town-center district in Waynesboro that would promote a sense of  identity? 


          What should be done to promote the most suitable commercial, office and industrial sites in the most appropriate areas?   


          What provision should be made for a greenway connecting the Borough and Township? Are there opportunities for intermunicipal cooperation? 


          What are the most appropriate development patterns in the Region?  Should clustering, mixed use, and traditional neighborhood development be encouraged? 


          What steps should be taken to encourage the preservation of the historic resources in the Region and increase public awareness of community heritage?   


          What are the appropriate growth areas in the Region?  Where should higher density residential development be directed?  Where should commercial and industrial development occur?