Mon09012014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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Board will take comments on Comp Plan

The King George Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing next week on Tuesday, April 16, to take comment on a proposed draft county Comprehensive Plan for land use.

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 for land use.

The current draft is an updated version of the existing plan which was last adopted in 2006. The proposed draft can be found online at the county’s website, along with its associated maps.

The main revisions made by the Planning Commission and forwarded to supervisors would strengthen and clarify the language, with a definition of “rural characteristics” as the primary addition.  

Many of the revisions had to do with providing somewhat stronger language, in some cases substituting “require,”  “ensure,” or “promote” for the word, “encourage.”

With the guidance of Director of Community Development Jack Green, the Planning Commission provided a thorough review of the document, going through it section by section and page by page during its monthly meetings over a two-year period which began in late summer 2010.

That provided the members of the Planning Commission with a relatively thorough working knowledge of what the plan contains, along with background information about how the Comprehensive Plan fits in with the specific county-adopted rules and standards found in the zoning and subdivision ordinances.

The Commission then held its own public hearing on the revision draft in May 2012 with five members of the public providing comments. The draft was forwarded to Travis Quesenberry, county administrator last summer. He set up a joint meeting between Supervisors and the Planning Commission in October 2012, followed by an additional work session by the Board of Supervisors in February of this year, to which Planning Commissioners were invited.

At the February meeting, the board went through the document page by page. It was noted that one of the maps to be included in the Comp Plan should be amended to include the approved Dominion Power route for its new transmission line. It was also agreed that the revision draft be sent to the Virginia Department of Transportation.  

Approval of the revision could take place following next week’s hearing, or be brought back at a future meeting. Localities are required to conduct a review every five years, as has been done in King George. Additional revisions can also be made to the Comp Plan between the formal revisions.

JOINT LAND USE STUDY WITH NAVY BASE
In a related issue, Supervisors are waiting to hear from the federal government regarding funding for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) with the Navy base at Dahlgren. The Navy base at Dahlgren is part of the Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP).  

The purpose of the JLUS is in part to identify compatible use 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.

JLUS projects are taking place across the country by numerous localities at the request of military installations located in or near their jurisdictions to promote compatible development patterns near the base.
Supervisors had approved a resolution providing formal assent to the county’s participation as the sponsor in developing a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) with the Navy base at Dahlgren last December 2012.

What lead up to that was an overview provided the board last October explaining King George’s role as sponsor and fiscal agent for the federal funding to come for the project.

The overview in October was provided by Naval Captain P.R. Nette, Commanding Officer of the Navy Base at Dahlgren and Rich Tenga from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). Tenga said he would lead the effort and stay with it all the way to completion.

After word of funding and its amount is received, the next step for the board is to establish and appoint members to a JLUS Policy committee with one or two board members. Following that, an advertisement is to be developed and authorized calling for contractors to provide proposals for conducting the review.

The policy committee is to oversee the project to include selection of the consulting firm. The county also will establish a technical advisory group to identify and study technical issues by working with the consulting firm.

Development of the plan is expected to take about a year and cost the feds up to $200,000. It will be paid for with federal funding dollars.

The county will contribute by providing ongoing staff time from several departments including Economic Development, Community Development and Finance.

Phyllis Cook

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