Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540/735-1975.
Comp Plan Complications
Strange things are afoot at the Stafford County Administration Center, mostly in the Board Chambers. No surprise, right?
Of course, we all know that the comprehensive plan has been undergoing a massive rewrite over the past 3+ years, and it looks like things are starting to wind down. The Planning Commission came up with a new plan, and the Board of Supervisors took their shots at it, making some changes earlier this year. What remains is for the Planning Commission and supervisors to approve it at public hearing.
Supervisors had hoped to save time (and advertising money, I’ve been told) by holding a joint public hearing during their only July meeting on the 7th. It looks like the Planning Commission won’t post on the 7th, and will instead hold their own public hearing.
Problem is, Virginia law states that once a comp plan is denied by supervisors (which this plan technically was), the Planning Commission has 60 days to review changes and send it back to the board. According to my calculations, that means the Planning Commission has until July 18 to hold a public hearing. Let’s make that July 17, since the 18th is a Saturday. The only scheduled commission meeting this month is tonight.
So, the Planning Commission will hold out for an additional 10 days, call their own "emergency" public hearing and do whatever they need to do to get the plan back to the board. I assume. Yes, I know what they say.
I’m not sure what the Planning Commission (or the public) gains from that move, and I’m not clear on what the exact issues are, but the relationship between the board and their appointed commission has been strained, to say the least. Hopefully, I’ll find out more at the Planning Commission meeting tonight.