Programs & Policies
Coordination between the programs and policies at the municipal, county, regional, state and federal levels is the key behind having the most effective economic development program possible for Dauphin County.
It is clear that residents want to focus on keeping our existing businesses strong, while also providing for reasonable growth from new businesses and industries.
Municipalities have a vested interest in providing for a mix of residential and business development to provide for sustainable development that does not overburden residents with high property taxes. Most residents also want the opportunity to live and work in close proximity to reduce commute time and congestion on our roadways.
Technology is changing the way many people work, enabling home-based businesses or telecommuting for many. Access to high-speed internet access is a key component of the economic development programs of today.
Technology is also changing how we shop, with many now relying much more strongly on online purchases and home delivery of goods. Large-scale commercial development is changing, with many of our shopping malls and big box retail facilities struggling.
These changes must be addressed in local and regional strategies for economic growth.
- Focus future economic growth across Dauphin County near existing development areas, including downtowns and office/commercial/industrial centers;
- The downtowns of smaller boroughs and townships should be maintained and promoted as local economic centers and/or reinvented to meet current business opportunities;
- Maintain Harrisburg as the region’s cultural center to boost economic development;
- Strengthen and enhance the relationships between businesses and local municipalities;
- Prioritize general economic development efforts for: 1) retaining businesses; 2) expanding businesses; 3) starting new businesses; 4) redeveloping sites; and 5) attracting businesses.
KEY ACTION ITEMS
- Develop a countywide economic development plan, including a definition and an updated inventory of facilities of regional impact and significance (i.e. large shopping centers, major industrial parks, office parks, warehousing, large residential developments, regional entertainment/recreational complexes, hospitals, brownfields and airports) and a coordinated approach for future development, in cooperation with HRC/CREDC, DC Economic Development, the Hershey Harrisburg Visitors Bureau (HHVB) and educational institutions as part of a regional strategy for growth and development. The plan should seek to grow the target industry clusters, leverage intellectual capital, grow business incubation and build the workforce of the future;
- Evaluate existing zoning and subdivision regulations for their effect on incentivizing or discouraging home-based businesses, infill, adaptive reuse, brownfields, and redevelopment;
- Promote the use of zoning and related tools to encourage developers of new buildings and infill projects to reflect the local character, scale, proportion, spacing, setbacks and materials;
- Promote the use of Enterprise Corridors, Keystone Opportunity Zones, and other similar programs where appropriate;
- Focus education/training efforts on the underemployed in cooperation with the Library System, school districts, and institutions of higher education;
- As the items listed herein are put into action, the Implementation Partners should seek to continue their efforts toward the accomplishment of the plan’s goals through the identification and implementation of additional efforts deemed appropriate by the their committee and the County Commissioners. Any such actions should be publicly identified in the “Tracking Our Progress” section of the Comprehensive Plan Website.