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Supervisors, Planning Commission discuss draft Comprehensive Plan

JLUS meeting this week

The King George Board of Supervisors met last week with the Planning Commission and received an overview of its proposed draft county Comprehensive Plan for land use from commission chairman Josh Colwell.

The joint meeting took place on Oct. 2 with all five Supervisors present and most of the ten commissioners in attendance. In addition to Colwell, other commissioners at the joint meeting were Tony Scaramozzi, Chris Cox, Bill Robie, William Eschmann, Tara Patterson, Jessica Herrink and Karla Frank.


It is anticipated that Supervisors will hold other work sessions to go over the proposed draft with county Director of Community Development Jack Green, before finalizing a version to be advertised for a subsequent public hearing prior to adoption of a final document.

The Planning Commission had reviewed the existing plan, adopted in 2006, for more than two years prior to sending it to Supervisors.

The current draft is an updated version of the existing plan, but with various revisions to strengthen and clarify the language, and with a definition of “rural characteristics” as the main addition.  

Each locality is required under state law to have a Comprehensive Plan. The plan serves as a long range guide for the physical development of King George. It is designed to be general in nature and is developed for the purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development.

The proposed draft can be found online at the county’s website, along with its associated maps.

“ENCROACHMENT” WITH NAVY BASE
Supervisor Ruby Brabo relayed what she said she heard from Naval Captain P.R. Nette, Commanding Officer of the Navy Base at Dahlgren, on the preceding day, when she said she met with him privately.

Their conversation apparently included talk of “encroachment” issues that may affect the Navy Base at Dahlgren.

Brabo characterized her conversation, saying that Nette is “concerned about continued development” in the Dahlgren area. Those participating in the meeting played a short guessing game about what Nette’s actual concerns might be and whether they centered on commercial or residential growth.

Brabo said there was also a base concern about traffic in the area. Scaramozzi noted that the traffic situation is a “shared responsibility.”

Supervisor Dale Sisson agreed, saying, “There’s the balance that has to be struck.” He added, “It’s a vibrant community around the base.”

Sisson noted that a guidance statement could be included in the Comp Plan, saying something on the order of ‘Recognize the importance of the navy base and take efforts to protect encroachment of the base.’

Commissioners Colwell and Scaramozzi also reiterated that the base should provide its ideas in writing or comments on the county’s draft Comprehensive Plan directly to the county.

That request for comments had been forwarded to the base at the Planning Commission’s request back in mid-June. Green said he has yet to receive any comments back from the base.

OTHER COMMENTS
The presentation prompted a few other comments from Supervisors. Those included the following.

~It was noted that one of the maps to be included in the Comp Plan should be amended to include the route proposed by Dominion Power for its new transmission line. The route is expected to be approved by the state shortly, prior to the Comp Plan being finalized.

~Supervisor Cedell Brooks was persistent about making sure that more development at the Route 3 and U.S. 301 intersection be encouraged. Green said that a pertinent map had been redrawn to include that intersection in the development area.

~Supervisor Joe Grzeika concurred with a suggestion from Green that the part of the plan having to do with roads be sent to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Grzeika said, “Yes, we want to do that. And if we don’t agree with what they want like four-laning Route 206, we need to make it known to VDOT way ahead of time.

~Supervisor John LoBuglio cautioned against wording that is reminiscent of something called ‘Agenda 21” to avoid charges of the county being called ‘Marxist.’ Agenda 21 originated 20 years ago with the United Nations. Conservative political factions fear that it could lead to doing away with such things as private property ownership, including single-family homes and private car ownership.

Final approval of a new plan is likely to take place sometime in the next calendar year and is expected to dovetail with sponsorship of a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) to be undertaken with the Navy Base at Dahlgren.


JOINT LAND USE STUDY WITH NAVY BASE
In a related issue, Supervisors have scheduled a work session meeting for this week on Wednesday, Oct. 10, to get an overview of what is being requested by the Navy base for the county’s role to sponsor a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) with the base to be paid for with federal funding.  
The purpose of the JLUS is in part to identify compatible uses issues confronting both the civilian community and the military installation and to recommend strategies to address the issues in the context of local comprehensive and general planning programs.

Phyllis Cook

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