To Love York County When It Doesn’t Love You Back

Aaron J. Anderson
6 min readSep 20

York County is a lovely place to raise a family. I wrote about that recently.

That post generated a lot of enthusiasm for York but also some concerned private messages. One person asked, “I haven’t had the same experience in York as your family. I am looking at moving away but would like to talk about how you came to love York County. Can we get together?”

When York County Seems Unlovely

York County has not always been the easiest place to love. Our family’s move to York in 2004 from Raleigh, North Carolina was a bit of a culture shock.

The people in York County initially seemed more reserved. At times that could even feel cold.

As a transplant, it was easy to feel like an outsider in a place where so many people were born and raised. We quickly learned that people here made sure to tell you where they went to high school locally.

When we left Raleigh, it was ranked the best place to live in America. Real estate developments were popping up all over. New housing subdivisions, the latest restaurants, and shopping experiences were abundant. We quickly learned that the pace of real estate development in York County was a bit slower.

For years, when we would leave to go on vacation or travel to a larger city, I would often return with a negative attitude about York because those other cities just seemed to have it together.

Over those years, I began serving on the York City Redevelopment Authority and would watch developers explore exciting new developments in York. For a period of time, it seemed like none of those developments were coming to fruition because the developer deemed the project financially unviable.

Top this off with what felt like a constant stream of negative national news regarding racism in York County, gun violence, and the reality that York City is the 4th most underresourced City in America.

If I am honest, York County has not always been the easiest place to love.

How to Love York County When It Doesn’t Love You Back