Council starts work on five-year plan

STRASBURG – The Town Council and the planning commission met Tuesday to begin updating the town’s comprehensive plan, a process that could take up to nine months.

A comprehensive plan (or community plan, as it’s known locally) is essentially a 5-year plan for how the town wants to grow and progress as an entity.

Planning and zoning administrator Wyatt Pearson said the document does not need to be rewritten entirely, though some updates are needed.

“I don’t think it needs to be a total overhaul, but there are obviously some deficiencies that we can work on this year,” he said.

Besides offering a tactical and strategic guideline, Pearson said the town should update the 2012 plan with up to date water and sewer connections, town annexations, proposed new roadways and growth estimates.

Pearson said he’d also like to see updates to the town’s Capital Improvement Plan, its consistency with the Unified Development Ordinances, its design principles, goals and strategies and land demand.

According to data from Pearson, Strasburg had a population of 6,961 in 2015. Those numbers are expected to increase to 7,572 in 2020 and 8,963 in 2030.

Likewise, the town had 3,209 dwelling units in 2015, which is expected to increase to 3,492 in 2020 and 4,133 in 2030.

Pearson added that a focused comprehensive plan and capital improvement plan would hopefully lead to better proffer offers from potential developers building in town. (A proffer is a capital or cash improvement a development offers to the town as a means of offsetting any cost the development could bring.)

During Tuesday’s discussion, most involved parties worked out the process of how to go about tackling such a dense, dry document in a fair and transparent matter. Councilman Scott Terndrup suggested a steering committee to drive the matter back and forth from the planning commission, the Town Council, and potentially to offshoots like the architectural review board and the various town council committees, along with numerous citizen outreach sessions.

“Even though we’re not rewriting this, it’s still going to be a whole lot of work,” he said.

Although Pearson asked the councilmen and commission members to go home and read the comprehensive plan in full, he expressed doubt whether anyone would read the entirety of the 63-page document.

The Town Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. March 6.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or