Efforts start on joint comprehensive plan

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lunenburg County and the towns of Kenbridge and Victoria are gearing for a much-anticipated — and some would say desperately needed — joint comprehensive plan update.

The jurisdictions are considering contracting with Commonwealth Regional Council planning district to handle the project. The undertaking will cost $48,000 — though there could be additional costs — with the county paying half and the towns each paying a quarter.

The council — known as the CRC — would spend part of its time putting information together, and meet with the localities and have a map developed.

The project could take two years, but could span three fiscal years.

The county will apply for a grant toward the project’s total cost, Beverley Hawthorne told the members of the county’s board of supervisors earlier this month.

At the time, Supervisor Robert G. Zava bristled at the cost.

“We’re not inventing the wheel,” he said.

“You almost are,” Hawthorne responded.

County Attorney Frank Rennie said, “It’s a lot more than what it appears to be and it is certainly more than we’ve done in the last 10 years.”

In April, James Tharpe Jr., chairman of the county’s planning commission, asked that the comprehensive plan, as well as the subdivision ordinance and zoning ordinances, be updated to protect the county and adjoining landowners, as well as follow state law.

“We feel this needs to be done as quickly as possible,” he told the supervisors at the time.

Tharpe noted the comprehensive plan is over 10 years old and lacks changes that should have been made through the years. He added the county is “sorely lacking” in its subdivision ordinance and it needs to be rewritten “as soon as possible,” and the county needs to “fine-tune” its zoning regulations.

As it stands, the county and towns are not in compliance with state regulations, officials said at the meeting.