Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
So where does the comp plan stand?
I left you with not knowing what happened to the comprehensive land-use plan. At Wednesday’s Spotsylvania Planning Commission meeting, a 3-3 vote left the plan in limbo. Deputy County Attorney James Benkahla informed me that the tie vote means the plan moves to the supervisors without a planning commission recommendation.
Is this the first time that has ever happened? I can’t seem to get a hold of anyone in the county government who knows the answer. I’ve sent a few e-mails, but no replies yet. I’ve called someone with 30 years with the county but I can’t ever get him in the office. I’ve checked our clips and archives and found nothing.
I am writing a story about the meeting and the plan for Spotsylvania Extra. I talked to a couple of commissioners since the meeting and they’ve provided me with more insight about the concerns they have with it. It seems one commissioner is hung up on the land-use map because it’s too restrictive and gives people the wrong impression. Another commissioner is hung up on the lack of commercial growth, even small nodes of commercial-retail and business growth, for the rural areas.
I think the 3-3 vote is proof of how controversial these things can be. The county held months and months of committee meetings with residents who helped form the plan’s elements. But when it gets to the decisionmakers, approving the document doesn’t come easy. There are a lot of changes in it from the 2002 document. The plan calls for the county to transform itself into a smart-growth, business friendly, economical powerhouse. But it also wants to preserve open space by ramping up the Purchase of Development Rights program.