Gloucester planners approve lower county development area

Bill Nachman - Posted on Sep 07, 2011 - 03:58 PM

The Gloucester County Planning Commission gave its approval to an amendment to the county’s comprehensive plan concerning the Gloucester Point/Hayes Village Development Area following a public hearing last Thursday evening in the colonial courthouse. No one from the public spoke on the matter.

The commission voted by a 10-1 margin to forward the plan to the board of supervisors for its consideration. Commission member Mike Winebarger, who cast the lone negative vote, questioned the amount of input from residents about the plan, indicating "we are not Williamsburg" in terms of development opportunities. Commissioners Mark Strawn and Buddy Rodgers were absent.

Planning director Anne Ducey-Ortiz said staff had been working since last fall on a "planning effort concentrated in the southern portion of the county." She wrote in a memorandum to the commission that Gloucester received a grant to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s on-call consultants to amend the county’s comprehensive plan and land use ordinances in order to comply with requirements of the Virginia State Code.

"We’re really excited about this," Ducey-Ortiz said during the meeting.

Planner Emily Gibson, who gave a report on the plan, said that Gloucester officials want to look at the lower county not just as a place to drive through, but as a destination, as well. In looking at that area, she said the county should ask about what would be the appropriate size of growth for that area and that better traffic patterns be designed to support bike and pedestrian traffic.