By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer
Fluvanna County’s Board of Supervisors adopted a telecommunications ordinance at its September 21st meeting, perhaps ending years of muddled thinking, confusion, and ongoing charges of “not in my back yard”. The Board approved the ordinance by a 5-1 vote, with supervisor Don Weaver (Cunningham) voting against.
According to some estimates, fully half of the county’s land area has no cell phone capability, emergency communications, or broadband usage – or a combination of those services. Recently county officials commissioned a study to determine where telecommunication towers should be placed, and in a related action, supervisors agreed to be guided by that study.
The new ordinance explicitly states in what zoning districts particular towers may be placed, but more importantly from a vendor perspective, many of the placements will be by right, and not require a special use permit.
The by right condition should diminish substantially the pressure on the supervisors to reject particular tower placements in response to citizen opposition. Such opposition derailed one site approval a few years ago in one of the most under served areas in the county.
Special use permits still will be required for particular types of towers in certain zoning districts, but overall, the ordinance provides enhanced flexibility for vendors to provide service in the county.
In another development, supervisor Joe Chesser (Rivanna) reported that discussions with Aqua Virginia continue regarding bring water to the Zion Crossroads area of the county. A couple of options are under consideration but Aqua Virginia wants assurances that the service will be profitable within three years. That would require significant more economic activity in the area unless some water sales agreement could be reached with Louisa County.
Mr. Chesser also stated that Aqua Virginia is considering purchasing the Fork Union Sanitary District assets and accounts from the county for one million dollars. Aging infrastructure and declining well production will require substantial capital improvements over the coming years.
William Des Rochers serves as Free Enterprise Forum’s Fluvanna County Field Officer. The Free Enterprise Forum is a privately funded public policy organization covering Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson county as well as the City of Charlottesville. If you find this update helpful, please consider financially supporting these efforts.