The 13 municipalities that compose Fulton County witnessed significant residential development stemming from the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. With only four municipalities having adopted comprehensive plans and only one with a zoning ordinance, the character and functionality of the rural landscape was at risk. The County Planning Department held a meeting where residents expressed the need to develop a joint comprehensive plan to provide a framework for growth to occur while preserving many critical natural areas within the region.
RETTEW worked in concert with a 35-person steering committee — representing elected officials from 12 of the 13 municipalities, the County Conservation District, the County Planning Department, Shippensburg University Center for Land Use, and the Department of Community and Economic Development — toward providing a basis for decisions relating to growth and development, provision for public services and facilities, and protection and enhancement of the natural environment. A public charrette highlighted the public participation methodology in which more than 75 individuals identified a land-use approach that focused on revitalization of villages and the Borough of McConnellsburg that promotes a sense of place without compromising rural traditions. The County adopted the plan one month ahead of schedule, and they established a council of government within three months after adoption, which was a plan recommendation.