Board declines to update plan

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County leaders chose Tuesday not to adopt a change to a local planning document.

The Board of Supervisors considered adopting changes proposed to the transportation chapter of the Comprehensive Plan two months after members tabled the matter. District 4 Supervisor Cindy Bailey made a motion to adopt the changes as proposed. However, Bailey failed to receive a second on her motion.

Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass told the board later in the meeting that the chapter serves as a guiding document for the benefit of land-use planning. Until the board updates the chapter, the county must rely on the dated and possibly somewhat irrelevant version of the document.

Supervisors voted March 22 to defer action on proposed revisions to the transportation chapter of the Comprehensive Plan for more review by the Citizen’s Advisory Committee to look at sections pertaining to the Old Valley Pike Overlay District. The Citizen’s Advisory Committee voted March 23 to remove the overlay district section entirely. The section was then stricken from proposed revisions to the chapter. The rest of the recommended changes as covered in the March 2 joint public hearing held by the Planning Commission and the supervisors remain intact.

Supervisors adopted the Old Valley Pike Corridor Plan in 2003 that provides a concept for maintaining traffic capacity of the highway as growth occurs, and for planning land uses and facilities while protecting the historic and scenic assets. The county did not adopt the Old Valley Pike Overlay District ordinance until 2008. The proposed revisions to the Comprehensive Plan call for the county to remove the Old Valley Pike plan and overlay district regulations.

Director of Community Development Bradley Polk explained last week that the proposed revisions only remove the specific reference to the Old Valley Pike Corridor Plan.

Meanwhile, the Planning Commission’s Code Review Committee continues to discuss the overlay district regulations. Bailey, who also participates with the committee, has pushed for the county to remove the additional overlay regulations.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:
• Held a public hearing on a proposed right-of-way easement on Gunn Lane in Woodstock for the purpose of moving overhead electric lines underground. No one spoke at the hearing.
• Held a hearing on changes to the county code section pertaining to vehicles and traffic. The proposed amendment adopts by reference state laws that take effect July 1. No one spoke at the hearing.
• Held a hearing on changes to the county code section pertaining to the licensing of contractors. The proposed amendments concern changes to the application process to allow inquiry with respect to qualifications of the applicant, including criminal background checks and interviews; provide additional grounds to deny or revoke a license; enable the building official to establish application forms and procedures for examining applicants; amend the violations and penalties section; and provide other changes. Maurertown resident Kevin Rooney spoke during the hearing and said licensing violates at least four articles of the Constitution of Virginia and several Supreme Court cases. Rooney, citing the court decisions, argued the county cannot regulate the licensing of contractors.
• Held a hearing jointly with the Virginia Department of Transportation to receive comments on the Secondary Six-Year Plan for fiscal years 2017-2022 and on the Secondary System Construction Budget for fiscal 2017. Ed Carter, assistant residency administrator in VDOT’s Edinburg office, presented the projects in the plan. No one else spoke during the hearing.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com