Middletown planners want to take over work on comprehensive plan

MIDDLETOWN – After about a year as a work in progress, the town’s Planning Commission wants to take back its comprehensive plan from an outside agency.

The Planning Commission decided Monday to recommend to Town Council members that they vote to take back the comprehensive plan from the Northern Shenandoah Regional Planning Commission and finish it themselves. The plan is intended as a guide to future development in the community.

“Jeff, take it to council; tell them we would like to take it back,” said Daryl Terrill, Planning Commission chairman, while talking to council liaison Jeff Pennington after discussion on the topic was completed.

Pennington and other commission members agreed.

“I think we could make more progress then what has been made,” said commission member John Copeland.

The town had asked the regional commission about a year ago to help put together the plan but has yet to receive a finished document, despite calls and letters asking about its status, Terrill said.

Town Manager Rebecca Layman has previously said at a Town Council meeting that she has reached out to regional commission  about the plan only to be told the agency staff was still working on it. Town Attorney J. David Griffin said at the meeting he would send the regional commission a letter.

The town was not charged for the regional commission’s work.

When contacted Tuesday, Brandon Davis, executive director of the regional commission,  said he was unaware there was an issue and planned to call the town. They had been waiting to get back with the town, he said.