District comp plan meetings start Thursday

After nearly two years of work, Chesterfield County is ready to roll out a draft of its new comprehensive plan to county officials and residents.

As of press time, the plan’s steering committee, which helped consultants and planners craft the new document, was having its final meeting. The board-appointed committee got its first look at the plan draft in November, and the expectation was that at Monday’s meeting “most of the time is going to be spent on still getting further input from the steering committee,” Planning Manager Barbara Fassett said last week.

“They’ve been diligently working, working very, very hard, for almost two years,” Fassett said of the steering committee. There was no set end time for the session Monday, she said. Comments gathered at the meeting had to be prepared by Jan. 6 so they could be included in the packets for the joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors, School Board and Planning Commission on Jan. 12, she said.

“It’s been a lot of work for everybody,” she said. “These citizens are really, really heroes. They just made a huge time commitment for this process.”

The steering committee has seen, and constructed, most of the draft plan, which includes sections on the county’s plan vision, land use, transportation, revitalization, economic development, housing, environment and public facilities. Many of these elements have become part of the county’s comprehensive plan for the first time.

The draft promotes smart growth, recognizing a number of strategic planning ideas while embracing economic development and considering the cost of transportation and other infrastructure costs. Draft plan language encourages higher density in appropriate areas to “accommodate a wider array of lifestyle and employment opportunities and the efficient use of land.”

Planners, through the introduction to the draft plan, also indicated that the plan should be not only advisory, but rather be followed with policies and actions that achieve the plan’s goals while remaining fluid enough to allow initiation of new ideas quickly.

Last week, Fassett said planners will, after the steering committee completes its work, jump right into getting input from the public with a series of district meeting. The first, in the Dale District, will take place on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. at L.C. Bird High School, she said.

AREA MEETING TIMES AND LOCATIONS

Thursday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. at L.C. Bird High School in the Dale District.

Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. at Curtis Elementary School in the Bermuda District.

Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at Matoaca High School in the Matoaca District.

Backup inclement weather meetings may be held at the Central Library in February. All of these meetings are open to the public. For more information, contact Barbara Fassett at 748-1081 or fassettb@chesterfield.gov.

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