Fluvanna Goes Green (and Red)

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer

   Fluvanna’s Planning Commissioners got to look at the latest Comprehensive Plan land use map at their October 8th work session.  They saw a lot of green and not much red. 2029-land-use-comp-plan-map-3

   Green of course represents the proposed rural preservation areas, while the red colors show the Community Planning (the so called growth) areas.  According to Planning Director Darren Coffey, the growth areas were decreased somewhat, responding to citizen concerns expressed at several meetings, and individually.  The remainder of the county is largely cast as rural residential – which will be a buffer between the growth and preservation lands.

The Planning staff recommended establishing only one Urban Development Area (UDA), the minimum mandated by state law for counties such as Fluvanna.  It would be located in the Zion Crossroad area and would be large enough to accommodate county residential and commercial growth for at least ten years.  Not all growth would be required to go to the UDA, however.

The Planning Commission offered little comment on the proposed map.  Commissioner Barry Bibb (Cunningham) did object that the staff had removed the Palmyra village area from the UDA list.  He cited numerous county buildings and amenities as well as available sewer as strong incentives to promote growth in that area.

Mr. Coffey also told the Commission that he would recommend that new conservation easements be banned in the growth areas. Since conservation easements preclude development, such tax saving measures would contract the land available for development.

He agreed, however, that once the Planning Commission made its final recommendations to supervisors, he would notify potentially affected landowners.

The Planning Director hopes to have virtually all of the final Comprehensive Plan draft available for review by the end of October, with intensive Commissioner review in November.  Commissioners would vote and send a final recommendation to the Board of Supervisors in December.

Among other notes of interest that emerged from the discussion:

·        Coffey would like a procedure in place for annual reviews of the Plan and a mechanism for amending it;

·        There is no substantive reference to the proposed water pipeline, since it still is under discussion;

·        Coffey also believes that there should be a housing density distinction made between rural preservation and rural residential, but it is a discussion “for later”;

·        Mr. Sam Patterson (Palmyra) – the county’s elected representative to the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water District – urged the Commissioners to reexamine the historical rainfall data for the county which show the significant shortfalls in the winter months – the key time to replenish water supply.  He also called for water flow requirements higher than the current one gallon per minute, mandated by the state.

·        The Fluvanna Taxpayers Association presented a draft “Fiscal Framework Chapter” for the Comprehensive Plan which calls for, among other things, limiting annual tax rate increases to five percent or the inflation rate, whichever is greater.

 

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