By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
Greene County is nearing the end of work sessions regarding their state mandated Comprehensive Plan revision. As regular readers know, localities must update their comprehensive plans every five years. The Planning Commission is charged with the development of the plan while the Board of Supervisors votes on the final document.
At the October 21st workshop the Greene County’s Planning Commission reviewed the future land use of the county including the current vision, density and population, Virginia Code requirements and an overview of the current land use map. In order to enhance the quality of life and its rural character the county plans on…..
1. Conserving farmland
2. Planning diverse housing needs
3. Modes of travel
4. Support existing businesses
5. Attract low impact, environmentally friendly industry
7. Create jobs
8. Quality school and recreation areas
9. Preserve natural resources and cultural and historical heritage
It wants to encourage development in the designated growth areas and have businesses in mixed use villages and town centers. Greene County had its largest growth between 1990 and 2000 – 48% up to 15,244. At 2010 the population was 18,403 or 21% and it is projected to be at 24,000 by 2020 or a growth of 30%.
In the past five years there have been 302 multi-family dwellings built in Greene – Terrace Greene and Lily Ridge Apartments. Urban development areas have targets of 4 single family dwellings per acre, 6 townhouses per acre and 12 apartments per acre. In addition, the following designs are encouraged – pedestrian friendly roads, interconnection of new local streets with existing streets, preservation of natural areas, reduction of front and side setbacks and reduction of street width and radii.
Greene County has three Urban Development Areas – Corner Store, Ruckersville and Stanardsville.
In addition, there are six categories of growth areas…….
Mixed Use Village Center – centers, short set-backs, open space, office/commercial/residential
Mixed Use Town Centers – commercial and residential, short set-backs, open space
Mixed Use Residential – retail, civic and restaurants, green space
Suburban Residential – private, vehicular access, open space
Industrial – transportation access, vegetative buffer, environmentally sensitive
Senior Residential – age-restricted, close to services/activities, variety of housing
Currently Greene County has nearly 60,000 acres of A-1 Agricultural – the largest category of zoning by a factor of 3 over C-1 Conservation and a factor of 4 over the Shenandoah National Park. A proposal for C-1 is to increase the density of lot size from 8 acres down to 5 acres. There are 905 C-1 parcels in Greene and there are 162 parcels of 16 acres or more and there are 222 parcels of 10 acres or more.
The meeting concluded with a discussion on a future meeting with Rapidan Service Authority to review needs and ability to provide water to county residents – a top priority to the county. RSA has 2 members on their board from Greene, Supervisor Jim Frydl and Matthew Woodson, but RSA have not been responsive in the past. “Since water is a huge issue” to Greene County, Chairman Jay Willer asked that Bart Svoboda request RSA to attend a work session of the Greene Planning Commission for the review of the Comprehensive Plan.
Once all work sessions have been completed then at least one public hearing will be held where citizens will have their chance to input to the Planning Commission related to the revised Comprehensive Plan. The plan will then be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for their input and enactment.
Brent Wilson is the Greene 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