Thursday, April 22, 2010

A special Harrisonburg post . . .

Oh my, government is in high decision-making mode, isn't it?  Virginia's governor and General Assembly are grappling with the state's budget shortfall; Congress is reforming Wall Street; the City of Harrisonburg, home to WMRA's studios, is reviewing its Comprehensive Plan.

So what is the Harrisonburg Comprehensive Plan?  According to the website . . .
The Comprehensive Plan presents a vision of what kind of community the City would like to be in the future. It identifies the steps required to move toward that vision by providing information about the City’s current conditions, long-term goals and objectives, and recommended implementation strategies. As described in the Code of Virginia, the Comprehensive Plan shall be general in nature; Harrisonburg’s Plan addresses a wide range of issues including land use, housing, education, transportation, recreation, the preservation of historic and natural resources, and economic development. The Plan serves as a long-term guide for the community and it helps city leaders make decisions about the many issues that occur throughout the governance of our city.
This February, I participated in a Harrisonburg Summit on Strengthening Local Business and the Economy. One of the sessions I attended was about Downtown green space, convened by Bibb Frazier. At this session I learned a couple of really important things about the future of Downtown Harrisonburg:
  1. It's going to undergo a lot of development in the near future.
  2. The Comprehensive Plan, as it now stands, doesn't really address maintaining or creating any green space as part of this development.
  3. The Planning Commission welcomes citizen input, but
  4. Almost nobody showed up at the last round of citizen input hearings.
Okay, citizens of Harrisonburg. There's a new round of hearings scheduled. It's your city. If you don't agree with what's planned, it would be a good idea go to the relevant hearing and let the Planning Commission know!

Here's a list of what's being discussed, when, along with a link to the  part of the plan under review at the first meeting. 

Thursday, April 29th – Land use and Transportation,
Chapter 5 Land Use & Development Quality - Chapter 6 Neighborhoods and Housing - Chapter 11 Transportation    
Wednesday, May 5th – Natural Resources and Community & Safety Issues,
Thursday, May 13th – Cultural Resources and Revitalization, and

Wednesday, May 19th – Housing and Collaboration.

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