Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540/735-1975.
It’s the Comprehensive Plan that just won’t go away. Stafford officials are still wrestling with it after four years.
This is a crass oversimplification, but revising a Comprehensive Plan goes something like this: The Planning Commission revises it, holds a public hearing. It then goes to the Board of Supervisors, which holds its own public hearing before approving it.
Over the last four years, Stafford has had committees, joint committees, steering committees, hearings, work sessions and rewrites.
Most supervisors hope to finally pass the plan by the end of the year, but the plan is still being revised (with occasional input from supervisors) at the Planning Commission.
In what could be a sign of frustration over the timeframe or the content of the plan, supervisors came out of a closed session and passed a resolution to “direct” the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on the plan. They gave the Planning Commission 60 days to do so and submit the plan to the board. The clock is ticking.
The resolution further “directs” the Commission to include specific information in the plan–Urban Development Areas and how they should interact with a potential Transfer of Development Rights ordinance, for one. It also requests a review of the housing mix in relation to a recent economic analysis (fewer townhouses, possibly) and that the maximum build-out figure be reduced to reflect what some supervisors feel is a more realistic interpretation of growth potential.
The vote on the resolution was 4-2, with supervisors Harry Crisp and Bob Woodson against and Supervisor Gary Snellings abstaining.
What do you think? Are supervisors doing the right thing by putting this pressure and these guidelines on the Planning Commission?