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County comprehensive plan adds historical element

Sean Philip Cotter
505-5437/@SPCotterYD

York County commissioners on Wednesday approved the addition of a historic preservation component to the county's comprehensive plan.

Senior planner Amy Evans presented an outline of the plan at the commissioners' meeting, saying the addition would work to help better preserve York County's heritage.

"York County is a unique place," she said. "We have things here you can't find anywhere else."

She told The York Dispatch this change is more generally than specifically directive, as it's not the county's job to preserve individual historical properties.

Terry Downs, right, gives white roses to York County commissioners Susan Byrnes and Chris Reilly in celebration of York County's 267th birthday, which is Friday.

"Local municipalities really are the ones" with the ability to deal directly with historical preservation, she said.

But the county can help and coordinate without spending more money, she said, and that's what this change is supposed to move toward. This plan is meant to position the county to provide better technical assistance and support.

The plan lays out an assessment method for any projects for which people or municipalities are seeking county support. The analysis focuses on historical significance, quality of life and community considerations, feasibility, economic considerations and planning principles.

The county would also draw up model language municipalities could adopt, should they wish to implement an ordinance relating to historic preservation.

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A volunteer board that formed the steering committee for this plan will now become the oversight committee for its implementation, Evans said.

The three commissioners adopted the plan with little discussion, other than President Commissioner Susan Byrnes commending the county planning commission on putting it together.

"York County really does care about history," she said.

— Reach Sean Cotter atscotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.

Goodridge center shows York City's Underground Railroad history