Greene County Land Use Planning, Department of Economic Development for Greene County Government, Pennsylvania




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Waynesburg, PA 15370

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Greene County Land Use Planning
Department of Economic Development for Greene County


Contact Persons: Robbie Matesic, Executive Director of Economic Development
Jeremy Kelly, Planning & Business Development Manager


Greene County Office Building, 3rd Floor
93 East High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370
Phone: 724-852-5300 / Fax: 724-852-2944
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m., Monday—Friday

Planning is alive and well in Greene County and local municipalities are ahead of the game. Over half of the 26 municipalities have adopted single or multi-municipal comprehensive plans or are currently in the process. As of 2008, 12 municipalities have enacted zoning ordinances to regulate future growth and land use.


Land Use Controls:
Greene County’s Strategy for a Greene Tomorrow will support locally initiated plans and land use regulations. However, the County will retain control where needed to ensure sound land use development practices through its Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO). Communities such as Franklin Township, Rices Landing Borough and Washington Township are applauded for leading the way to enact locally applicable SALDOs to achieve municipal based development goals.

In addition, Greene County municipalities are leading the charge to implement multi-municipal planning and shared service arrangements. Starting first as a community-based initiative, the Jefferson-Morgan Council of Governments is now recognized as a groundbreaking partnership that is realizing cost savings for partners through shared purchasing and code enforcement activities. The Jefferson Morgan COG engaged in the first Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan in Greene County and subsequently enacted the County’s first ever Multi-Municipal Zoning Ordinance.

Future Land-Use Plans:
Greene County exemplifies the planning conflict of development versus preservation. Many residents in the County recognize the need for a larger tax base; however those same residents do not want haphazard development and the rural areas to lose their natural beauty. Protecting the rural characteristic is a key component of Strategy for a Greene Tomorrow. The development policy for the following locations will focus on preservation and smart growth strategies. Greene County officials are charged with balancing needed economic development with maintaining the rural characteristics that define the County.
  • Encourage Sound Local Land Use Controls:
    Municipalities have the right to regulate the uses of land and structures except where the requirements are superseded by state and federal requirements. This includes requirements for activities associated with mineral extraction within the municipality. Any landowner who is proposing any type of development should be diligent with their investigation of the property (deed restrictions, zoning, etc.) in regards to ownership of mineral rights, easements or rights-of-way on the property, and any other factors that may affect the overall plans for the property.

    As of 2008, eight municipalities have enacted zoning ordinances to regulate future growth and land use. In addition, four municipalities have joined together to enact the Jefferson-Morgan Multi-Municipal Zoning Ordinance to implement the Jefferson-Morgan comprehensive plan. With the exception of Greensboro Borough, all the municipalities with zoning can be found in the north central / northeast portions of Greene County.

    Greene County enacted a Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) in 1995 and amended in 1998. The SALDO provides the legal measures to ensure that future subdivision and land development plans conform to the development goals of the community. The Greene County SALDO applies to all municipalities who have not enacted their own SALDO, which include all but Franklin Township, Rices Landing Borough and Washington Township.

  • Direct Future Development & Investment to Suitable Areas:
    The importance of extractive industries as an economic driver for Greene County will continue for the viable life of the Greene County Comprehensive Plan: Strategy for a Green Tomorrow. The potential benefits to the County include increased wealth of its citizens, a solid employment base, and potentially many spin-off industries to diversify the economic base of Greene County. The magnitude of the industry also has corresponding impacts that will require a multi-faceted approach to encompass the interests of the County, its municipalities, mining interests, investors, stakeholders, and residents. The County will strive to strike a balance between land development, recreation, and tourism with that of the inevitability of the significant growth in the coal and gas industries.

    In addition, the County will support infrastructure expansion to identified “growth areas” and “future growth areas” and establish rural resource areas, where development is restricted to low impact uses, i.e. agriculture, single-family homes, etc. The following areas were identified by the public as potential development areas within the County:
    • I-79 Ruff Creek Interchange – small-scale commercial and multi-family, single-family residential
    • I-79 Waynesburg Interchange – commercial areas along SR 21
    • I-79 Mount Morris Interchange (industrial, recreation)
    • Infill development in Carmichaels and Waynesburg
    • Expand the Greene County Airport
    • SR 21, SR 88, SR 188 and other major arteries
    • Monongahela River – recreation / tourism development (boat launches, trail)
    • Areas already served by public infrastructure

    There were also sites that residents did not wish to see developed along with preservation concepts that they would like to see incorporated into future developments:
    • Ryerson Area
    • Farmlands / agricultural land
    • Watersheds and waterways
    • Preserve green and open space around Waynesburg
    • Safeguard the rural character of the western half of the County
    • Include trees and open space in new developments
Planning Commission Municipalities Planning Code:
The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), originally enacted as Act 274 of 1968, establishes the basic authority for the exercise of municipal land use controls in Pennsylvania.

It enables municipalities to plan for community development through preparation of a comprehensive development plan and to govern such development through zoning (with or without planned residential dvelopment procedures), subdivision and land development, and official map ordiances. The code provides for the establishment of planning commissions, planning departments, planning committees and zoning hearing boards; and authorizes those bodies to charge fees, make inspections and hold public hearings. The code provides for appropriations, appeals and penalties for violations. Click here to learn more about our Greene County Planning Commission.

Support Future Development and Investments:
The following criteria was used to determine growth areas, future growth areas:
  • Urban Growth Areas -- served by water/sewer and limited to Waynesburg/Franklin area as it is classified as “urban” already. Can support high density and intensive uses.
    • Waynesburg / Morrisville Area (SR 21 and US 19 corridors; I-79 Interchange area)

  • Suburban Growth Areas -- served by water/sewer or planned extensions in the future and systems that have room for expansion. Can support varying degrees of density / intensity of uses.
    • Rices Landing Borough and Dry Tavern Area (SR 88 corridor)
    • Jefferson Morgan Region (SR 188 corridor)
    • Carmichaels / Cumberland Area (SR 21 and 88 corridors)

  • Village Growth Areas -- served by water/sewer or planned extensions in the future. Systems either cannot support expansion or at this time there is no identified need for expansion. While density may be high in villages, intensity of uses is more neighborhood oriented.
    • Clarksville Area
    • Ruff Creek Interchange Region (Washington Township)
    • Nemacolin Area
    • Greensboro Area (including Poland Mines)
    • Bobtown Area
    • Mt Morris Area (I-79 Interchange)
    • Brave Area
    • Rogersville Area

  • Future Growth Areas -- served by water or planned extensions in the future but not sewer. These areas surround the growth areas and can support overflow development at some point in the future if need be or if sewer is extended. Primarily lower density development, although intensity of use may be high in the case of mineral extraction, etc.
    • SR 21 Corridor between Rogersville and Wind Ridge
    • SR 218 Corridor between Waynesburg and West Virginia boundary
    • SR 188 Corridor between Waynesburg and Mather
    • SR 88 Corridor between SR 21 and Fayette County boundary
    • Other rural developed areas including Garards Fort and Dilliner

  • Conservation Land -- land is under some sort of conservation / protection from development including state gamelands, state parks, important bird areas, and agricultural security areas.
    • Enlow Fork Important Bird Area (IBA)
    • Ryerson Station State Park
    • State Game Lands
    • Agricultural Security Areas in Washington Township, Cumberland Township, Greene Township, and Wayne Township

  • Low-Impact Areas -- overlay for environmentally sensitive lands and potential greenways. These areas contain high quality watersheds, floodplains, natural areas, etc. and while development may occur, should be done in a fashion that is low impact and not harmful to the environment.
    • Enlow Fork Natural Area
    • Browns Creek Natural Area
    • Ryerson Station Conservation Area
    • Ten Mile Creek Watershed
    • Dunkard Creek Watershed
    • Monongahela River Corridor

For general information, please contact the Information Services
at 724-852-5399 / Toll Free: 1-888-852-5399
Greene County Office Building, 93 E. High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370


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