Tag Archives: planning staff elaine echols

Hide and Seek – Albemarle Comp Plan Revealed

By. Neil Williamson, President

After the Free Enterprise Forum post yesterday, [Why Is Albemarle Hiding Their Comp Plan Proposal?] I received several e-mails asking if this was a nefarious attempt by someone to hide the plan – the answer is clearly NO. But the plan has been in hiding.


Elaine Echols

Elaine Echols, principal planner for Albemarle County and lead on the Comprehensive Plan project called me this morning concerned that the blog was incorrect.  The plan was not hiding at all it was right there out in the open on the world wide web for all to see.

She showed me on the Albemarle Comprehensive Plan Web Page the following:


New Solid Waste Recommendations

Board directed changes to January 23, 2014 Draft Comprehensive Plan

Updates to Website for Comp. Plan Draft 10/7/14

Past Planning Commission review of the Comprehensive Plan

Looking at the 5 choices above, which hotlink would you as a citizen choose to get the draft of the Comprehensive Plan?

If you chose Door Number 3 “Board Directed Changes to January 23, 2014 Draft Comprehensive Plan” you would be a winner(here is the link).

Based on the above, we must retract the statement that the Board directed changes are not available to the public.  The Free Enterprise Forum contends the Board changes are not readily available to the public. Echols agreed to disagree with me regarding the transparency of this information.

We contended that this big happy button on the left side of the Albemarle County Home Page that says “Comprehensive Plan Update” should take citizens to the most recent update – not an out of date iteration.  Echols indicated it does not do that “yet”.

Considering the vastness of the document, the Free Enterprise Forum remains disappointed that the logical button fails to deliver the latest information “yet”

According to Echols, the advertisement for the June 10th Public Hearing goes live on Friday, May 22.  Staff plans to have the “Comprehensive Plan Update” button properly send citizens to the most up to date version by no later than Monday morning “even if they have to come in over the weekend to get it done”.

Staff is open to phone calls and e-mails from concerned citizens about any and all aspects of the Comprehensive Plan.  Echols e-mail is eechols@albemarle.org and the phone number for Community Development is 434-296-5832

The Free Enterprise Forum appreciates the significant effort staff is putting into the plan but wonders if they have enough resources to get the job done properly or perhaps Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan is bigger than it needs to be?

No, there is not a nefarious attempt to mislead the public, but the Free Enterprise Forum continues to believe the public, perhaps inadvertently,  may have been misled.

Stay Tuned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson, President


20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa  and Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credits: Charlottesville Tomorrow