Lancaster commission recommends increasing density to encourage more workforce housing 

Jackie Nunnery

by Jackie Nunnery

LANCASTER—To encourage development of affordable workforce housing, the Lancaster planning commission on Thursday, September 21, recommended increasing the allowable density of residential community zoning (R4) from its current base density of two dwellings per acre to four, and a maximum density of six dwellings per acre.

A need for affordable workforce housing was outlined in the Lancaster 2035 Strategic Plan, but director of planning and land use Olivia Hall said the current allowable densities “will not accommodate the densities required for apartment/condo developments.” 

“We’ve had a couple of developers who wanted to create multi-family housing in the county but couldn’t make it work at (the current maximum) four units. They could make it work at six,” said county administrator Don Gill.

Under the proposed changes, developers could increase to five units per acre if 10% of the units are priced between 50% and 120% of the median family income. According to numbers shared by Hall last month, the current median family income in the county, based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development figures, is $93,073, making the income range $46,536.50-$111,687.60. A maximum density of six units….

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