By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The years-long process of drafting Strasburg's plan for the future headed into the final lap Tuesday. The town planning commission addressed three of the chapters of the draft of Strasburg's Community Plan.
Strasburg leaders adopted the current plan in 2003, Town Manager Judson Rex said. The plan lays out the town's goals for its future growth in the next 40 years.
Virginia requires localities to adopt a community or comprehensive plan and to review the document at least every five years. The town's revised plan is about six years in the making.
Commissioners addressed several chapters, including one which outlines goals for the town's growth. But wording of the goals and other parts of the plan came into play throughout the discussions.
Debates ensued over whether some information, such as data analyses and studies should appear within the document or at the end as appendices. The first chapter, which serves as an introduction, begins with a brief history of the town. Commission member Al Davis questioned whether the document should begin with historical information, but instead suggested the chapter immediately begin with the town's plan for the future.
"I just don't like to see a lot of documentation that doesn't directly relate to what we're doing here, that's creating a plan," Davis said.
Town Councilman Scott Terndrup said he liked the fact the chapter starts with the town's history. As Terndrup noted, the chapter once began with four pages of history and the draft features only a few paragraphs.
Commissioners sometimes acted as copy editors of the draft while they scanned three of the plan's chapters, recommending a few grammar and spelling changes as well as word choices. Members in general expressed satisfaction with much of what they read. Davis pointed out that colors on a zoning map, included in the community plan, appeared confusing and could be improved. Rex indicated he could fix the colors to make them stand out.
The commission plans to review the remaining four chapters of the document at a work session set for Aug. 28. The panel may hold a public hearing on the draft before sending a recommendation to Town Council, which likely will discuss the document at its Sept. 11 meeting. Council will hold a public hearing on the draft plan before approving the document.
The draft chapters and maps can be viewed on the town's website at strasburgva.com.
Rex told commissioners the next step for the town would be to revisit the zoning ordinances. Terndrup noted the ordinances are how the town implements the objectives of the plan. The commissioner suggested they as a group begin to look at the ordinances now rather than later in an effort to start the process.