By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer
At its meeting on October 15th, Public Works Director John Robins briefed the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors regarding the current status of the James River water pipeline project. As currently envisioned, Mr. Robins said the pipeline would:
· Locate a water treatment plant at Pleasant Grove;
· Connect to Fork Union and provide a “redundant” potable water supply system to Lake Monticello to guarantee water supply to that community; and,
· Extend the line along Route 600 to Route 250, ultimately connecting to Louisa County.
This led supervisor Gene Ott (Rivanna), a member of the water pipeline project committee, to state that while he supported the pipeline, he was concerned about various aspects of the Memorandum of Understanding between Fluvanna and Louisa counties. He questioned the need to establish a joint water authority, particularly since Fluvanna is the water wholesaler to Louisa, it is the county’s water, and Fluvanna has done “all the work” so far.
Mr. Ott also objected to paying for half of a water tank in Louisa, while that county pays nothing towards providing water to Fork Union – even though supplying water to that community is part of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Supervisor Charles Allbaugh (Rivanna) countered that regional cooperation is essential if the county and the region were to “survive”. Chairman Marvin Moss (Columbia) said there is a “great deal of anxiety and nervousness” in Louisa over the pipeline and stated that Louisa had alternative sources of water.
Mr. Robins stated that the Fluvanna share of the cost would be about $26.8 million in current dollars, $3.8 million of which would bring Fork Union into the system. Fork Union would increase the customer base by about 1,250 resident equivalent units.
Robins also told the Board that Aqua Virginia had submitted an alternative pipeline partnership proposal to the county on October 10th. As of the meeting supervisors had not been briefed on the proposal. This caused a frustrated supervisor Don Weaver (Cunningham) to later say: “the county got the proposal last Friday, you would have thought that the staff might have given us a brief synopsis. It wasn’t even discussed.”
Zoning Amendments: Yes and No
Supervisors unanimously followed a Planning Commission recommendation and approved a revised zoning definition as to what constitutes an assisted living facility. The redefinition would reflect contemporary thinking as to what constitutes such a facility, and would make it easier to develop such facilities.
Specifically, the revised definition would define an assisted living facility as one that would, among other things:
· Serve adults, aged 55 or older or those with disabilities;
· Provide professionally managed personal and health care services;
· Enable residents to age in place in a home like environment;
· Perhaps include a kitchen in some units; and,
· Should be considered a single dwelling unit for zoning purposes and be no higher than thirty-five feet.
On another zoning text amendment request, the Board unanimously voted to deny places of worship in the I-1 (Industrial, Limited). The issue arose because the Crossroads Community Church had inadvertently leased property in an I-1 industrial facility and sought to rectify the error through either establishing a by right use or by permitting a special use permit in the zoning district.
Supervisors were not persuaded that the county should set a precedent to accommodate this particular use by enacting a wholesale zoning change in the I-1 areas that are designated for economic development. The Board encouraged the Planning Director to work with the Church to resolve the matter. The Planning Commission had earlier unanimously recommended approval of the change.
Other Board Actions
· Were briefed on a proposal to create a regional jail authority that would be able to borrow on its own accord for future expansion. The matter will be decided at a later date; and,
· Approved a name change for the Industrial Development Authority to the Economic Development Authority;
· Reappointed Messrs. Michael Himes, Robert Lawhorne, and David Rafaly to the Building Code Board of Appeals Board with terms beginning on November 1st, 2008 and ending on October 31st, 2012.
The Board will next meet on November 5th at 2:00 pm in the Courthouse.