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krazeeboi

Lancaster County vs York County

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While both Lancaster and York counties are both on the receiving end of "spillover" benefits from Charlotte, a recent survey commissioned by the Urban Institute's Land Use & Environmental Planning division at UNCC reveals some differences among residents of both counties, particularly as it relates to the local economy and present/future growth and development.

When asked to rank job opportunities, 62% of respondents in Lancaster County ranked them below average; only 2% said job opportunities in Lancaster County were excellent. In contrast, only 11% of York County residents considered job opportunities "poor." Most people, 57%, ranked them average or "good." In the metro area, 33 percent of people ranked job opportunities as below average.

In the survey, 53% of people in York County said the county is growing too fast. In Lancaster County, 30% of people thought growth was going too slow.

Both counties had similar numbers when it came to paying for new development and preserving open space.

It's pretty easy to discern the source of the economic differences between York and Lancaster: I-77. York County benefits from having the interstate run, not only through/in close proximity to the immediate suburbs of Fort Mill and Tega Cay, but also through the county's largest city, Rock Hill.

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I-77 certainly made a big difference to York County. Both with access to CLT and after 1982, also easy access to Columbia. Lancaster city, in comparison is not that easy to get to as I believe the only 4 lane highway going there is 521 and the only 4 lane portion of it is the part between there and CLT. To make matters worse, the NCDOT did not 4 lane their portion of 521 until sometime in the 1990s. The geography of Lancaster works against it as well given that Lancaster city is 30 miles from Pineville and most of the population of the county lives there and at points further south.

I think the other big difference between the two, is that Lancaster basically depended upon one industry, Springmaid Mills, which later became Spring's Industries. Springs, has basically been shuting down there over the past 30 years and as a result, has almost turned Lancaster into a ghost town. It's a huge change from 1972, when there was big parade and celebration for one of its natives, Charles Duke, who was only one of 12 men to have ever stepped on the Moon. The city was in it's heyday then and little did anyone know it would be all down here from there. (Like most textile towns)

York in comparison had a more diversified economy and there was significant state investment there in the form of Winthrop University. It had the benefit of having an interstate highway built across the county which directly connected it to the largest cities in both Carolinas. And it also benefits from being on the Catawba river chain which not only gives it access to plenty of water for industry and growth, but Lake Wylie is attractive to a lot of high income people who work in Charlotte. Lancaster has nothing like this.

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^Precisely. Another point about geography is that the only portion of Lancaster County that is adjacent to Mecklenburg is the "panhandle." Also, I don't think there are any incorporated municipalities in that part of the county. As far as York County, I-77, Winthrop, and the Catawba River give Rock Hill in particular big advantages when it comes to the city's emerging sports tourism market.

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Ditto what you guys said. I think we all knew the answer to this but seeing the numbers is interesting anyway. I grew up in SW Union Co so I've spent my fair share of time in Lancaster Co. and I really feel disconnected from Charlotte while there. I also think people in Lan. Co. look to Union Co. for jobs before Charlotte. They don't seem to feel as if they are part of the metro in the bulk of the county. They consider themselves rural folks. The high growth areas are completely seperate from the "real" Lancaster Co. York in contrast is much more connected to Charotte by both interstate and mindset.

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Very true. The panhandle of Lancaster County, a relatively small sliver of land, is seeing much more investment than the rest of Lancaster County, by far the overwhleming bulk of the county. The growth and development in York is more evenly spread than in Lancaster, although the vast majority of it occurs in eastern York County. The schools in York County are also positively affected, particularly the Fort Mill district.

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