By. Kara Pennella, Greene County Field Officer
The Greene County Planning Commission recently held a lengthy worksession on its revised Comprehensive Plan. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Engineer Chuck Proctor was there to provide input on transportation in the proposed growth area. The Planning Commission revisited three specific areas of the county that the Board of Supervisors highlighted during their joint meeting earlier this month.
The Planning Commission first discussed the area southwest of Route 33 between Routes 633 and 743. This property was added by amendment to the 2003 Growth Area and has been removed from the proposed Growth Area for the new Comprehensive Plan. The land on the opposite side of Route 33 remains in the Growth Area.
C. Proctor expressed concern over the number of access points on Route 33. He noted that since there are already full access points at 633 and 743 it would be difficult to put in another full access entrance to the property under the new regulations. A parallel road would be required between Route 633 and 743. Because this area has not been studied previously VDOT was unsure exactly where the road would go and what impact it might have on traffic on Route 33. Commenting on the property itself, C. Proctor noted “It’s a nice piece of property. I hate to see it developed.” He pointed out that this was the only large scale pastoral view from Route 33 in between Stanardsville and Ruckersville. He also expressed concern that including the land in the growth area at this time would detract from density in the rest of the growth area. However, he did note that the potential for a parallel road could have some positive aspects. [Editor’s note – Is this comment “I’d hate to see this developed” appropriate for the role of the VDOT Engineer? – nw]
The second issue the Planning Commission asked for VDOT’s feedback on was expanding the growth area north up Route 29 to include the Highland’s Golf Park and some other lots already zoned B-3 and M-1.
VDOT had concerns over including this area because the only access for these lots is Route 29. C. Proctor noted that there is no way to put a parallel road on the west side of 29. This would create a situation similar to Route 29 south of the Route 33 intersection.
The third area the Planning Commission addressed is located east of Ruckersville from Route 616 stretching north to Route 33. Part of the land in this area has been zoned Senior Residential. There is also a section of land between the proposed growth area and the Senior Residential lots that was discussed. Concerns have been raised at both the Planning Commission level and the Board level that exclusion of the Senior Residential lots will make it more difficult to get access to water and sewer and move forward with the projects.
Several new roads were recommended in this area as part of the Multimodal Corridor Study. If those roads were built there would be sufficient access for this area. Since this area was included in the Corridor Study, VDOT did not have much input on including this land in the Growth Area.
The Planning Commission discussed all of these areas and comments at length. No consensus was reached. Since two Commissioners were not at the meeting, the Commission agreed to revisit this subject.
The next portion of the meeting focused on the Chapters in the Comprehensive Plan. Each of the Commissioners present provided some brief comments and edits on the Chapters. The Chapters are available on the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Website. The public may also submit comments on the site.
Finally, the Planning Commission began to tackle preferred density and zoning designations for area located within the growth area. A rough sketch of the area discussed will be presented for further revision at the next workshop.
The Planning Commission will continue to discuss the Comprehensive Plan at their next regular meeting.