vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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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.


  • MAVRICKinc

    It occurred to me, after witnessing and watching Stafford’s Supv. Paul Milde, III’s reasoning for the Spotsylvania BOS, at Supv. Jerry Logan’s (Spotsy) June 11, 2009 VRE Summit Meeting to join the VRE agenda and the funding mechanisms that go along with signing on to VRE gas tax AND VRE Master Agreement.

    I think I get it now. Supv. Milde wants to make everyone the same, even when it comes down to the paint job on the Stafford County’s Fire Department’s fire engines, under the guise of “This is a normal transition that every growing community faces.”

    I remain assured he will play a significant role in morphing of the Stafford County Comprehensive Plan, but to what end?

    While I can see, all the way from here, the many tragedies that occur to our homes and highways, and wonder whether anyone at risk, or needs to be saved cares what color their fire truck is. If it’s yellow, blue, red or even shades of gray, what makes the day. Simply said, who ever shows up will be in charge of our lives, if even for just a moment.

    Think of it along these lines. If you have to be driving something red before attending to your rounds of saving people from their worst nightmare, does this mean the engine companies flying a yellow, blue, green or any other colored banner, has to take a back seat to red, when the first to show at the scene was yellow, blue or some other color?

    Is red the only color Stafford County has to offer? Who ever shows up should be a person of pride and uncommon valor. What color was he or she while attending to YOUR needs? Do you even care?

    At $20,000 to $30,000 to change the color of our fire engines is probably better spent in getting the best people possible to attend to our safety needs as soon as they hit the ground running, whether they are career or volunteer.

    If Supv. Paul Milde III is sending out e-mails suggesting that if volunteers did not come together over the issue of apparatus color, they could lose their positions, and went on to say “You will be phased out. You need to help get pro-volunteer supervisors, like me, elected.”…followed by the support of Republican candates Susan Stimpson and Gary Snellings.

    Can anyone recall being between a rock and a hard place, and asking the person treating you or hosing down a fire whether he/she is a Republican, Democrat, or wise enough to be labeled Independant?

    How does anyone get to politicize a victims next breath at the price of being a member of a political party? What does anyone have to say after the fact; I was rescued by a Republican, Democrat, Independent or just some one person with a mission, wearing yellow gloves and wearing a yellow or blue or green helmet.

    I noticed recently a Letter to the Editor, singing the praises of Supv. Paul Milde, III for lending a hand to an HOA with a problem stemming back years ago and that Supv. Milde will get his vote for doing what Supv. Milde is supposed to do, while serving in his role as a Board Member conducting business for ALL Stafford County Citizens.

    Simply said, volunteers are forever, and career is for those just passing through to a pension.

    Volunteers are the grist of grist mills, not the political agenda of one who desperately needs to be relected, no matter what the price.

    Going from red to the angst of a Comprehensive Plan doesn’t really take a leap of faith. Check the details and you’ll see what I mean.

  • staffordcat

    I fail to see the connection between the Comprehensive Plan and a proposal for one uniform color for fire trucks.

    This nonsense with the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan is incredible. People: government resources are being wasted while these two groups bicker and fail to cooperate.

    If the politicians want to hold over adoption of the Comp Plan until the election, they should just say it.