Connected communities

As our region continues to grow, each area has its own perspective on how to handle growth –

Why the focus on so many counties? Simple – they are all connected. The land-use decisions in Louisa will impact the real estate market in CharlAlbemarle – if more people are able to comfortably buy, live and work in Louisa, perhaps fewer people will move to CharlAlbemarle. As broadband becomes more prevalent in Nelson, that rural county will be more of a viable option. But where will the people work? Will they telecommute to Colorado? Will they commute to Charlottesville? Waynesboro? What will be the impact on infrastructure?

If one of these counties becomes more or less business friendly, the connected communities will be impacted; how I am not sure yet; but make no mistake – they will be impacted. Whether these counties like it or not, they are affected by external decisions.
Fluvanna County learns about the value of Greenways from a local visionary

One way to think about a Greenways project, Mahon said, is to think four or five generations ahead. If you look beyond your personal self-interest, you can see that it will be a contribution to the future.

Orange County

Resident, after resident, after resident lined up to speak in strong disapproval to the proposed Annandale development. The 244 acre site would sit just outside of Gordonsville and house nearly 500 single family homes for people ages 55 and up. Some residents felt this many homes could destroy the small town feel.

Nelson County

In addressing Nellysford, Rue said there could be three routes taken to complete the plan. They include long-term transportation and business growth, a focus of safety issues on Virginia 151 or a plan that looks at safety as well as business growth.

Louisa County: questions are raised regarding the mixed-use implementation as they revise their Comprehensive Plan

The suggested changes would define “very low density residential development” as one dwelling unit per acre and “low density residential development” as up to two dwelling units per acre. High density residential development would be defined as more than six units per acre.  “These really sound more like urban densities,” said Jim Scharf, Green Springs district commissioner. … (and one person remarked)  “If [one house per acre] is very low density,” she said, “I don’t know what life is going to be like around here.”

What if a rural county wants to maintain its rural character?

And one of my favorites comes from Trish, who laments the changing landscape of the CharlAlbemarle area –

Why do we have to completely strip the land to build anything? … I could go on an on but I’ll just end by saying that Central VA really needs to wake up and be as environmentally responsible as they “claim” to be.

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5 Comments

  1. TrvlnMn April 22, 2006 at 19:32

    Orange County is very business friendly. Of those listed above, I think they are the only one that has a ‘business incubator’ to help small business get off the ground. Not to mention that most ‘new’ working class jobs are happening out in that direction.

    That said. Being business friendly doesn’t mean approving every development any developer wants to put in. There’s already been lots of development out there, and the residents are quickly realizing that northern va is breathing down their neck, which is why they’re trying to slow things down. (or maybe I’m reading your post the wrong way).

    I think Louisa has taken the Albemarle county approach to being business friendly, in that like Albemarle county designated 29 north as the growth corridor for business in the county, so has Louisa done with the zion’s crossroads area. Their water project with fluvanna to pipe water from the James at Bremo bluff is a strong vote that’s where they’d like new development and business to happen.

    Anyway that’s my 2 cents.

  2. Jim Duncan April 24, 2006 at 06:48

    Being business friendly, to me, means having a plan – and following it. The development in Albemarle County seems to have just “happened.” But I would disagree with you that Albemarle is very business friendly – there are many, many companies that have looked to Louisa because Albemarle is so disjointed and heavily regulated.

  3. TrvlnMn April 24, 2006 at 22:54

    Being business friendly, to me, means having a plan – and following it.

    Fair point, although I don’t know if agree with that. I’d need to think on it more. When I think of creating a broad set of rules for “business development” and applying it equally to everyone, I think you open yourself up for the unexpected and unintended, at which point you might lock yourself into a path you don’t want to take. Although admittedly I don’t know enough about the subject to do anymore than offer an layman’s view and opinion on the subject as I am doing now.

    Now I didn’t say that Albemarle was business friendly, nor did I mean to imply that it was. What I did say was that Louisa was begining to take the “Albemarle approach” to business friendly- meaning creating a defined area within the county where to encourage growth. That area being the Zion’s Crossroads area. A committment by the county which I think is evidenced by the James river pipeline to Bremo Bluff (Jointly with both Louisa/Fluvanna).

    However In the 1980’s with all the problems created by the city of charlottesville for it’s businesses, Albemarle was by comparison “business friendly.” And they had a plan- commercial development restricted to the 29 corridor. Within those bounds they were (again by comparision to the problems in Cville at the time) much more business friendly- and lower taxes. The City of Charlottesville had the first shot at the Fashion Mall (the area’s first and only indoor mall). It was to go where Seminole Square is now which (I think) was still within city limits. However Cville decided to pass and the person brought in for the project, took everything to the County of Albemarle and they jumped on it.

    Is Albemarle business friendly now? No Probably not. All the areas where they wanted development to happen are quickly becoming “built out” (or have been?) I don’t think it was til the late 1990’s (around 96 or 97) that they started cracking down. Louisa may by comparison to Albemarle be more business friendly, but when they reach a point in time similar to where Albemarle is now- that development is changing things past the point of comfort, I imagine you’ll see similar things happen there.

    On a side note: all of this discussion of “business friendly” makes me think of Virginia’s “Right to Work” policies and a few of the issues I have with it (being worker unfriendly).

    Anyway those are my thoughts on the subject today. 🙂

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