Planners to consider transportation vision, rules

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County planners will hold another public hearing next week on the area transportation outlook.

At the same time, officials continue to discuss proposed changes to specific development regulations for the Old Valley Pike region through the county.

Community Development Director Bradley Polk said Friday that the second public hearing on the proposed transportation chapter of the Comprehensive Plan does not include the Old Valley Pike Overlay District.

The county held a hearing on the version of the transportation chapter that included a section referencing the Old Valley Pike Corridor Plan. The commission later forwarded the chapter to the Board of Supervisors recommending approval.

Supervisors have 90 days to take action on revisions to the Comprehensive Plan from the time the Planning Commission forwards its recommendation, Polk said. Supervisors chose in late May not to take action on the commission’s recommendation. District 4 Supervisor Cindy Bailey at the time failed to receive a second to her motion to adopt the changes as proposed. The board’s failure to act on the proposed adoption meant that the county would rely on the current transportation rules until supervisors decided to approve an update.

“They did not take action within the 90 days so the process starts again in August,” Polk said. “It’s the same document, for the most part, as what was presented for public hearing in March.”

Meanwhile, the Planning Commission’s Code Review Committee has debated the Old Valley Pike Overlay District – additional zoning regulations applied to development along U.S. 11 through parts of the county. The committee has conducted the work on the district rules separately from the transportation chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, Polk explained.

“The revisions to that part of the zoning ordinance are still ongoing,” Polk said. “That’s a separate process.”

The commission plans to discuss proposed revisions to the Old Valley Pike Overlay District at the Thursday meeting after holding the public hearing on the transportation chapter.

Bailey sat in on the Code Review Committee meetings and expressed criticism of the entire concept of the overlay district, claiming that it imposed additional rules and burdens on developers. The district regulations had kept potential developers or businesses from building or opening in the affected areas along U.S. 11, Bailey said.

The Code Review Committee has recommended some changes to the overlay district regulations but Polk said he didn’t expect the revisions to come to the Planning Commission for a public hearing before October.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or