The Board of County Commissioners created the Lackawanna County Regional Planning Commission on June 16, 1959. The Commission is responsible for policy decisions concerning the planning program and recommendations on subdivision and land development proposals and local land-use regulations. The Commission has nine board members appointed to four-year terms by the County Commissioners. The Planning Commission is headed by the Director of the Department of Planning & Economic Development and currently has four full-time staff members to carry out the various state-mandated planning activities and numerous additional activities for the county.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan entitled "Preserving our Lands. Preserving our Cities." is a collective vision developed by the region's residents, stakeholders, and project planning team. The sections of the Plan lay out data, trends, stakeholder engagement and planning implications that form the key priorities for the region over the next decade and beyond.
Planning for transportation is a critical function of government. Our transportation system supports the people and industries of Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties with approximately 4,250 linear miles of roadway, 985 state-owned bridges greater than eight feet in length, and nearly 2.3 million trips annually on its public transportation systems. The Lackawanna/Luzerne Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is responsible for planning for all these assets and services, and how they support other modes such as bicycle, pedestrian, rail freight, and aviation.
The long-range transportation plan (LRTP) guides the MPO’s overall transportation planning process. Through it, the LRTP guides area decisionmakers with an examination of the region’s existing transportation system, the driving forces affecting its long-term performance, and the strategic directions and investments needed.
One of the biggest challenges the MPO faces relates to the shortfall in available transportation funding. Even before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic locally in March 2020, which curtailed the demand for travel (and needed revenue into the Motor License Fund), the MPO was facing a funding crisis. As of this plan’s adoption, PennDOT is grappling with an estimated loss of $840 million over a 16-month period from the pandemic’s start, through June 2021.
The loss of revenue will affect the delivery of highway construction and maintenance projects, as well as payments to municipalities, and the Commonwealth’s ability to fund competitive grant programs such as Green Light-Go. Transit systems are also being negatively affected. The shortfalls are sobering.
The uncertainty being cast by the pandemic and its impacts may likely be felt for years to come. Long-range planning is more important than ever in the face of these historic challenges. The MPO looks forward to implementing its latest long-range transportation plan, which will begin with the implementation of a four-year program valued at nearly $280 million. And we will continue to plan for our region’s transportation infrastructure to ensure it remains a valuable asset in support of our communities, economic competitiveness, and quality of life.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) was established as a result of the 1973 Federal Highway Act. The MPO is a body that determines how all federal and state highway/bridge funds are allocated. The Lackawanna/Luzerne MPO encompasses all areas of the two counties.
Brenda N. Sacco Director of Planning and Economic Development Phone: 570-963-6830 Ext. 1376 Fax 570-963-7596 Email: Contact Me
Mary Liz Donato Planning Department Manager Phone: 570-963-6400 Ext. 1354 Fax: 570-963-6364 E-mail: Contact Me
Stephen Solon GIS Coordinator Phone: 570-963-6400 Ext. 1353 Fax: 570-963-6364 E-mail:Contact Me