Chapter 6         

Historic Preservation and Natural Resource Plan_____________




The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) requires that municipal Comprehensive Plans address resource preservation, specifically identifying natural, cultural, and historic resources.  The natural resources noted by the MPC are wetlands and other aquifer recharge zones, woodlands, steep slope areas, prime agricultural land, floodplains, and “unique natural areas.”  The MPC adds that municipalities are not limited by this list, but may provide for the protection of other resources of local importance.  In addition to these resources, this chapter will identify energy conservation objectives for the planning Region.  Prime agricultural land has been previously discussed in Chapter 4, the Future Land Use and Housing Plan.


The results of the citizen survey indicated that the Region’s residents are concerned about historic resource preservation.  Respondents also indicated a high level of interest in farmland and open space preservation.


When prioritizing issues facing the Region, the Steering Committee and municipal officials gave high priority to preserving agricultural resources, retaining woodland and open space, providing sufficient water quality and supply, and historic and natural resource protection.


Historic Resources


The Region’s history is reflected in its architecture, people, and character.  Historic resources connect us to the past, emphasize our sense of community, and often provide aesthetic value.  In addition, historic resources can provide tourism benefits which often lead to economic development opportunities.  Planning for the protection of historic resources is especially important because historical resources are not renewable.


Historic Resources in the Region have been identified in South Mountain to Blue Ridge Summit, an Architectural History of the Antietam Watershed, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, edited by James M. Smith of the Waynesboro Historical Society.  Historic Resources are also discussed in Chapter 13 of this Plan.  The challenge is to establish priorities for preservation of resources.


A task force of the Waynesboro Historical Society has been formed to identify and then cooperatively work to protect historic buildings.




Historic Districts


Local historic districts are areas in which historic buildings and their settings are protected by public review. Historic district ordinances are local laws adopted by communities using powers granted by the state. Historic districts consist of the Region's significant historic and architectural resources. Inclusion in a historic district signifies that a property contributes to a group of structures that is worth protecting because of its historic importance or architectural quality.


Washington Township has the Monterey Historical District, placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is an example of a 19th Century summer resort community. 


South Mountain to Blue Ridge Summit describes the Waynesboro historic district as a two block strip straddling Main Street, bounded by Northeast Avenue on the east and by North and South Grant Streets on the west.  It is eligible for the National Register.


National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture.  Sites n the Region which are on the Register are listed in Chapter 13.

Cultural and Artistic Resources


Cultural resources are the special characteristics that make a community unique.  A community that takes pride in and respects its traditions is typically a community with a well-defined character.  The Region contains a rich, diverse heritage with significant cultural resources that should be embraced and preserved.   Many of these resources are discussed in the Community Facilities Chapter.  Some of those resources are the many churches in the Region, the libraries, schools, YMCA, Renfrew Museum and Park, the many clubs in the Region, the Waynesboro Historical Society in the Oller House, the Waynesboro Studio Art Club, and the Industrial Heritage Museum in Waynesboro.  The Nicodemus Center for ceramic studies is located on the Penn State Mont Alto Campus.


It should also be noted that there are performing arts theaters within half an hour from Waynesboro; Gettysburg and Antietam National Military Parks are just over 30 minutes away; and Waynesboro is 75 minutes away from the Baltimore/Washington Metro area.


Historic, Cultural, and Artistic Resources  


Goal: Identify, preserve and enhance the historic, architectural, artistic, and cultural resources of the Township and Borough.




      Encourage the preservation, protection, and enhancement of historic and architectural resources and their context.


      Preserve and promote the unique aspects of the Region’s cultural diversity and heritage that is displayed through its’ architecture and its’ people.


      Encourage the appreciation of the visual and performing arts in the Region.


      Support efforts of the Waynesboro Historical Society to preserve historic and cultural resources.


      Create an atmosphere that attracts and enhances the artistic community.


      Work with the Waynesboro Area School District to facilitate visual and performance arts opportunities for the residents of the Region.


      Require new development to reflect and consider the history, architecture and development patterns of the municipalities; discourage inconsistent development near historic resources; require impact studies for development near historic resources; and require mitigation of any potential adverse impacts on historic resources.


      Consider initiating community-wide festivals to promote, enhance, and celebrate the Region’s unique cultural diversity.


      Encourage adaptive re-use of historic structures where appropriate.



Historic, Cultural, and Artistic Resource Actions:


A.        Update zoning ordinances as necessary to protect historic resources and community character.  Options include:


1.         Adopt Historic Resource Overlay Zoning.  Concentrate on the Historic Overlay District, as depicted on the Future Land Use Map.


a.         Create historical commissions and/or committees where they do not exist or a joint historical commission


            b.         Identify historic resources


            c.         Require developers to analyze:


                                   Nature of historic resources on and near property

                                   Impact of proposals on historic resources, and

                                   Mitigation measures


            d.         Encourage adaptive reuse of historic buildings


e.         Establish use, coverage, density, intensity, and yard bonuses for architectural treatments, building design, amenities, and open spaces/buffers compatible with existing resources, appropriate reuse of existing resources and donation of façade easements


f.          Encourage architecture, materials, and development patterns characteristic to the area


2.         Adopt Demolition by Neglect Provisions:


a.         Require property owners to protect and maintain historic properties to avoid demolition by vandalism or the elements by requiring unoccupied structures to be sealed or secured by fencing


3.         Identify provisions to protect the character of the Borough and villages, and have streets, buildings, and public spaces integrated to create a sense of place with pedestrian scale.  Consideration can be given to adopting the following as standards or promoting them through incentives:


a.         Allow only appropriate uses in scale with, and compatible with, existing appropriate uses, discouraging uses that would transform the character of the areas.


b.         Establish coverage, density, intensity, and yard bonuses for architectural treatments, building design, amenities, street furniture, open spaces, and parking designs consistent with the character of the area.


c.         Require pedestrian amenities as necessary improvements to be made by land developers.


d.         Construct parking areas to the rear and side of buildings and establish standards for design, buffering, and landscaping of new parking facilities.


                        e.         Require signage appropriate to the area.


f.          Establish appropriate standards for driveway design and access to streets to provide for appropriate access management.


g.         Minimize use of drive-through facilities in the Downtown Business District.


h.         Encourage new development to be compatible with, and integrated into, existing streetscapes when appropriate, with consideration of: 


           Appropriate siting patterns, such as setbacks of buildings on lots


           Materials of similar appearance and texture to those on existing buildings


           Similar architectural details as other buildings in the neighborhood


           The scale and proportion of buildings near new structures in the Downtown Business District.  Scale deals with the relationship of each building to other buildings in the area; and, proportion deals with the relationship of the height to the width of a building and with the relationship of each part to the whole


           Similar roof shapes


           Similar footprints of buildings and rooflines (matching façade masses with existing buildings)


           Similar building heights


            4.         Regulate conversions of buildings, addressing:


           Locations where permitted

           The procedural treatment of the use

           The type of building that can be converted

           Density of converted units

           Lot size for converted building

           Impervious surface/open space requirements

           Units allowed per structure

           Structure size requirements

           Minimum size of dwelling units

           Neighborhood compatibility standards

           Adequate parking requirements  

           Screening of parking and common areas

           Limits on the structural revisions for buildings


B.        Appoint a regional or municipal historical commission or committee, which is actively involved in historic preservation, to work with the Waynesboro Historical Society.  The commission would be instrumental in administration of any historic resource overlay zoning that is adopted.  The commission would also continue to:


1.         Identify, evaluate, mark and foster awareness of historic resources


2.         Investigate participation in Certified Local Government Program


3.         Encourage retention, restoration, enhancement and appropriate adaptive re-use of historic resources and discourage removal of historic structures


4.         Develop programs, events and interpretive signage and exhibits that emphasize the history of the Region


5.         Evaluate the potential for historic districts and support their creation if warranted.  If created, consider the adoption of voluntary or mandatory Design Guidelines and Sign Controls for the Historic District.


C.        Support the activities of individuals and groups that identify, document, evaluate, and protect historical resources and increase public awareness of the area’s history and historic resources.










Natural resources contribute to the economic activity, environmental health, and quality of life of a community.  Parks, open space, woodlands, steep slopes, streams, wetlands, and farmlands are all resources that are aesthetically pleasing, and provide economic as well as environmental benefits.  One example of this is the way that floodplains and wetlands act as natural storage basins in periods of high water and help to improve water quality by filtering out sediment and pollutants.  Natural Resources in the Region are mapped and discussed in Chapter 12.


The Michaux State Forest is located in the South Mountain Landscape.  PADCNR, other state agencies, the Nature Conservancy, and other groups are working to protect the South Mountain Landscape.  The Working Vision Statement for the South Mountain Landscape Initiative is:


            South Mountain is a timeless treasure of natural, aesthetic, historic, cultural, community, agricultural and recreational resources where citizens, government,   and partner organizations are working together to ensure that South Mountain as a      whole, and the special places within, are understood, valued, protected, and             enjoyed for generations to come.


Natural, Agricultural, and Scenic Resources Goal:  Protect the Natural Resources within the Region.


Goal:  Protect, preserve and enhance the natural, agricultural, and scenic resources of Washington Township and Waynesboro Borough for current and future generations, for recreational and educational use. 




      Protect and retain water resources within the municipalities to assure the quantity and quality of surface and groundwater for recreational use, wildlife habitats, fire protection, and water supply.  Of particular concern will be water supply recharge areas, Michaux State Forest, Happel’s Meadow, the Antietam Creek and its watershed, wetlands and floodplains along the Region’s creeks, and steep slopes draining to the creeks.


      Protect groundwater and surface water from pollution and excessive withdrawal.


      Protect and manage woodlands within the municipalities.


      Protect the steep slopes within the Township and Borough.


           Protect the actively farmed land remaining in the Region


     Identify techniques to encourage continual use of existing farmland, including the Agricultural Preservation Program.


      Encourage the retention of existing desirable trees in the Borough and Township and the planting of additional trees as part of a tree planting program. 


      Protect watersheds and wellhead areas.


      Encourage the preservation of the scenic road corridors and views along them within Washington Township by limiting the encroachment of development.


      Encourage creation of riparian buffers and retention of greenways along the Region’s creeks.


           Support efforts of the South Mountain Landscape Initiative.


Scenic Resources


Preservation of scenic resources can be accomplished through broad land use policies, such as open space and woodland preservation and through attention to developments as

they are proposed.  Performance and design standards for developments, including siting of buildings and protection of woodland can encourage retention of scenic areas.


Scenic Resources Goal:  Protect the Scenic Resources within the Region.




           Protect scenic views, features and landscapes, and ensure for future generations views of the scenic and natural beauty of the Region.


           Protect the night sky from excessive light pollution.


           Minimize the visibility of cell towers from roads within the Region.


Natural Resources Actions:


A.        Update zoning ordinances where applicable, and consider adopting official maps to reflect the resource protection Goal and Objectives of this Plan and to be consistent with the Future Land Use Map (Figure 6.1).  The resource protection provisions of municipal zoning ordinances vary, and the approach taken by each municipality will vary.  Options include:


1.         Use Natural Resource Protection Standards and/or Net-Out Provisions for the following resources:


            a.         Floodplains

            b.         Wetlands

            c.         Wetland Margins (buffers)

d.         Watercourses

            e.         Water bodies

            f.          Greater than 25% slope

            g.         15-25% slope


2.         Maintain Steep Slope Protection Provisions:


            a.         Control and limit development on steep slopes


       Require larger lot sizes and impose stricter impervious restrictions for steep slopes of 15 to 25%


       Prohibit or severely restrict development on slopes greater than 25%


3.         Adopt Groundwater Protection Provisions:


a.         Protect aquifers through design standards, construction guidelines, use restrictions, impervious limits, and permit submission requirements.


4.         Adopt Tree and Woodland Protection, Management and Planting Provisions:


a.         Limit clearance for development in both subdivisions and land developments.


b.         Require tree protection and replacement during development.


c.         Encourage the use of native species in landscaping.  Discourage invasive species.


d.         Establish limited clearance buffer zones around the perimeter of new developments


5.         Adopt provisions for Wetland, Wetland Buffer, and Hydric Soil Protection:


            a.         Restrict development in wetlands.


b.         Establish consistent wetland, wet area, and water body buffer (margin) requirements, such as 50 feet or 100 feet.


            c.         Require wetland delineation in hydric soil areas.


6.         Adopt Floodplain Protection Provisions:


a.         Severely restrict development in floodplains to compatible open space uses.


7.         Establish Stream Corridor Overlay Zoning and require forested Riparian Buffers:


            a.         Restrict development and impervious surfaces.


b.         Require riparian (vegetative) buffers to moderate water temperatures, protect wildlife habitats, control sedimentation, and reduce pollution.


c.         Require greenways.


d.         Utilize the Best Management Practices where practical, and implement Act 167 Stormwater Management Plans.


e.         Protect the Region’s streams.


8.         Adopt Outdoor Lighting Standards to control light pollution and protect                                   the night sky:


a.         Establish illumination levels that are adequate but not excessive.


b.         Require impacts on surrounding streets and properties to be mitigated by directing light down, not up or out to sides of fixtures.


c.         Control glare.


            9.         Adopt  Forestry Regulations:


a.         Require accepted silvicultural (forestry) practices.


b.         Require a forestry management plan.


c.         Require stormwater and erosion and sedimentation control.


d.         Require properly constructed internal logging roads and protection of public roads.


 e.        Require soil erosion protection during steep slope forestry.


B.        Update subdivision and land development ordinances as necessary.  Options to consider include the following:


1.         Expand plan data requirements to include a specific listing of environmental, scenic, historic, and cultural resources. 


2.         Require developers to identify the resources within their tracts, analyze the impacts of the development, and mitigate those impacts.


3.         Require environmental assessment studies; hydrogeologic studies; scenic, historic and cultural resources impact studies; plans for preservation of environmental, historic, and cultural resources; and analysis of the site’s ability to support the proposed use and intensity.


4.         Require developers to identify natural, historic, scenic, architectural and cultural resources in their tracts and incorporate them into the open space system.  Require management plans for open space as well as mechanisms to ensure the continuation as open space.


            In review of Subdivision and Land Development Plans, requirements for setting aside open space can be used to preserve conservation corridors and provide for greenways.  


            Requirements for setting aside open space can also be used to protect targeted undeveloped areas and identified natural areas pursuant to municipal plans.


5.         Establish development guidelines for development in groundwater recharge areas, including limits on impervious cover and limits on on-site sewage disposal.


6.         Require protection of vegetation during site work.


7.         Limit clearance on approved, but not developed, lots.  Potential techniques include tree clearance ordinances, deed restrictions, net-out provisions, and identification of permissible clearance areas during the development process. 


C.        Create an Environmental Advisory Council to work with municipal officials to preserve key tracts of open space, protect environmental resources in the Region, and implement open space and recreation plans. 


Act 148 of 1973 authorizes any municipality or group of municipalities to establish, by ordinance, an Environmental Advisory Council to advise the local planning commissions, park and recreation boards, and elected officials on matters dealing with the protection, conservation, management, promotion, and use of natural resources located in the municipality’s territorial limits.


Act 148 empowers Environmental Advisory Councils to:


           Identify environmental problems and recommend plans and programs to the appropriate municipal agencies for the promotion and conservation of natural resources and for the protection and improvement of the quality of the environment within its municipal boundaries;


           Keep an index of all open space, publicly and privately owned, including flood-prone areas, and other unique natural areas, for the purpose of obtaining information on the proper use of such areas;


           Advise the appropriate local government agencies, including, but not limited to, the planning commission and park and recreation board or, if none, the elected governing body, on the acquisition of property, both real and personal.


D.        Encourage formation of groups within the community to adopt a stream and provide monitoring and oversight along the stream corridor.


E.         Pursue joint watershed planning opportunities under the Growing Greener initiative and other programs in order to protect community water resources.


Scenic Resources Actions in the Township:


A.        Update zoning ordinance as necessary to protect scenic resources.  Options include the following:


            1.         Scenic Road and Scenic Viewshed Overlay Zoning:


                        a.         Require greater setbacks from scenic roads.


                        b.         Require additional landscaping, trees and screening on site.


                        c.         Establish standards for siting buildings and building height.


d.         Require retention of existing desirable vegetation when it will not conflict with road safety concerns.


e.         Impose sign limitations.


f.          Require access management.


            2.         Adopt ridgeline protection zoning.


            3.         Maintain Sign Regulations:


                        a.         Regulate billboards.


b.         Maintain consistent and appropriate signage standards along road corridors in the Region.


c.         Encourage appropriate signage with consideration of the following:


           Sign materials compatible with the building style.


           Sign colors that complement building façades.


           Hardware for projecting signs integrated into the building architecture.


           Lettering compatible with the building façade.


           Purpose of sign for identification only.


           Restrict signs with off-premises advertising.


           Lighted signs should illuminate the sign area only.


           Signs do not obscure architectural features or windows.


           Prohibition of roof-top signs.


           Window signs should not obscure displays.


           Prohibition of flashing lights, neon lights, moving lights, and unshielded light bulbs.


4.         Require landscaping and buffering in commercial and industrial       Developments.


B.        Update subdivision and land development ordinance as necessary.  Options include the following:


1.         Establish guidelines for development near scenic roads and vistas.


2.         Require tree plantings along streets in both major and minor developments and both residential and non-residential developments.


C.        Minimize visual blight along the road corridors in the Region to enhance the business climate.  Work with the Franklin County Planning Commission and PennDOT to identify illegal or non-compliant signage and enforce applicable regulations.  Establish responsibility in each municipality for addressing this issue.


Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure is a strategically planned and managed network of wilderness, parks, greenways, conservation easements, and working lands with conservation value that supports native species, maintains natural ecological processes, sustains air and water resources, and contributes to the health and quality of life of the community.

The Green Infrastructure network encompasses a wide range of landscape elements, including natural areas such as wetlands, woodlands, waterways, and wildlife habitat; public and private conservation lands such as nature preserves, wildlife corridors, greenways, and parks; and public and private working lands of conservation value such as forests and farms. It also incorporates outdoor recreation and trail networks.

Forested Riparian Buffers


A forested riparian buffer is an area of vegetation that is maintained along the shore of a water body to protect stream water quality and stabilize stream channels and banks.  The buffers provide the following benefits:


     Filter runoff – Rain that runs off the land can be slowed and infiltrated in the buffer, settling out sediment, nutrients and pesticides (nonpoint source pollution) before they reach streams.


     Take up nutrients – Fertilizers and other pollutants that originate on the upslope land are taken up by tree roots.  Nutrients are stored in leaves, limbs and roots instead of reaching the stream.  Through a process called “denitrification,” bacteria in the forest floor convert nitrate to nitrogen gas, which is released into the air.


     Provide shade – The leaf canopy’s shade keeps the water cool, allowing it to retain more dissolved oxygen, and encouraging growth of plants and aquatic insects that provide food for fish.


     Contribute leaf food – Leaves that fall into the stream are trapped on fallen trees and rocks where they provide food and habitat for organisms critical to the aquatic food chain.


     Provide habitat – Streams that travel through woodlands provide more habitat for fish and wildlife.  Woody debris provides cover for fish while stabilizing stream bottoms.


     Provides migration corridors for wildlife.


     Safeguard water supplies by protecting groundwater recharge areas.


     Provide flood control.


     Provide stormwater management potential – Natural vegetation provides a basis for innovative stormwater management systems.  Stormwater flows from retention basins can be directed to, and allowed to flow through, buffers to reduce nutrient and sediment loads.


     Improve water and air quality. 


     Stimulate economic opportunities such as providing valuable open space which may increase land values and, therefore, the tax base.


     Provide some federal tax incentives to landowners (depending on a landowner’s financial situation) willing and able to place some of their lands under conservation easement. 


     Reduce grounds maintenance.


     Provide recreational opportunities, and associated economic benefits for recreation-related businesses.


     Provide educational and research opportunities for local schools and colleges.


     Provide windbreak, shade, and visual buffer.


Energy Conservation


The Region is growing, and with this growth comes the increased reliance on energy sources.  Energy conservation is becoming a high priority because the way we use our resources today will have a profound effect on future generations.  Land use plans, land development regulations, building codes, and transportation policies should be implemented to support the policy of energy conservation. 

As the environmental impact of buildings becomes more apparent, a new field called green building is arising to reduce that impact at the source. Green or sustainable building is the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition.

Goal: Conserve energy through appropriate land use and transportation planning techniques and public education efforts.




           Promote alternatives to motor vehicle use to improve air quality and conserve fossil fuels.


           Maximize recycling as the markets become available.


           Promote mixed-use development patterns and densities that result in more compact communities, encourage fewer and shorter vehicle trips, and limit the need to extend infrastructure.




1.         Educate residents and businesses regarding the benefits of energy conservation.


2.         Review and update ordinances to include regulations for energy efficient building and design techniques.  Encourage the use of renewable sources of energy, including solar, wind, and biomass (energy from organic matter).