Fluvanna Planners Set CIP Priorities

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer

Fluvanna Countys Planning Commissioners unanimously forwarded the staff’s capital improvement (CIP) budget proposal to the Board of Supervisors at their meeting on January 25th. The CIP calls for spending $21.3 million over the next five years on such facilities as a new swimming pool, an intergenerational center, and a new animal shelter. There also is a major E-911 planned upgrade that will cost some $4.9 million over the next two fiscal years.

The Planning Commission recommended the E-911 upgrade as the most critical project facing the county and also recommended that the supervisors fund the school bus and patrol car requests – an additional $2.8 million over the next five years.

There are also school upgrade projects highlighted and a capital reserve fund proposal that would be drawn upon for emergency repairs. The initial reserve would be funded at $156,000 and surpluses would be carried over year to year.

At the direction of the Board of Supervisors, planners also invited public comments on the sign ordinance with a view towards amending it if necessary. In recent months the ordinance has become a contentious issue among some members of the business community.

Only five members of the business community provided comments, none of which addressed specific concerns, but were more concerned that the county provide a “business friendly” environment. One businessperson: former supervisor Chris Fairchild disagreed and stated that he believed the environment already was friendly towards business. The Commission will consider some changes and will report back to the supervisors after it holds a public hearing, expected in April.

As reported in an earlier blog, the Planning Commission has an ambitious work program scheduled for the coming year. Here is a list of the major issues to be considered as well as the anticipated month for the public hearing on each:

· Amend the parking and landscaping sections of the Zoning Ordinance – April

· Amend the Sign Ordinance – April

· Amend A-1 zoning district and create a new rural zoning district – June

· Develop a cash proffer program – July

· Develop specific program policies for the transfer/purchase of development rights – October

· Review of the Conservation Easement Program – December

After the public hearings, commission recommendations would be forwarded to the supervisors for appropriate action.

Planners also selected a new chairman and vice-chairman to serve in 2012. The new chairman is James Halstead Jr. (Palmyra district) and Donald Gaines (Rivanna).

The next meeting will be held on February 22nd.

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William Des Rochers is the Fluvanna County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.

The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you.  To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org

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