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Augusta County seeks input on Stuarts Draft Small Area Plan

augusta countyThe Augusta County Department of Community Development has released a draft of the Stuarts Draft Small Area Plan and is asking for public review and comment.

While the planning process has had two public meetings to review various plan components and themes, this is the first release of the
culmination of that input into a draft document.

The plan can be found at Citizens are encouraged to use the form for comments and questions at the bottom of the webpage as well as attend plan presentation meetings and scheduled public hearings.

The plan provides details for the 20-year vision for the Stuarts Draft area, the area’s Future Land Use Map, the Stuarts Draft Transportation Plan, and the implementation strategy for identified policies.

Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair Carolyn Bragg has spearheaded efforts between the three districts that the small area encompasses and an advisory committee that was appointed by the Board in early 2017.

“The Stuarts Draft Small Area Plan is the culmination of hard work and collaboration between County citizens, elected and appointed officials, staff, and consultants,” stated Bragg. “It has been an extraordinary process that will impact not only citizens from South River, Beverley Manor, and Riverheads, but communities County-wide.”

The small area plan is the product of a community-oriented, location-specific analysis of a growth area identified in the Augusta County Comprehensive Plan. The plan was created and adopted as a policy recommendation of the 2014/2015 Comprehensive Plan Update and includes recommendations for transportation, infrastructure improvements, land uses, development design guidelines, and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements.

Leslie Tate, senior planner in the Community Development Department, emphasizes how the small area planning process provided for a detailed bike and pedestrian infrastructure analysis.

“One of the goals for the plan was to specifically enhance the bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the area and to look at a greenway concept that could serve for recreational use as well as provide routes for alternative transportation. Better and safer connectivity will enhance the quality of life for the whole community, creating a more enhanced sense of place. The great thing about Stuarts Draft is the pride its residents feel for their community, which has been made evident throughout the planning process. ”

Approximately 45 percent of the small area is marked as an Urban Service Area. That represents approximately 21 percent of the total Urban Service Area in Augusta County. Urban service areas are defined as areas for development of a full range of public and private land uses of an urban character.

The advisory committee’s approved-draft of the plan will be presented at the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, Oct, 8 at 7 p.m. The anticipated date for Board presentation is on Oct. 23 with the possibility for public hearings in November.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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