Planning Commission Work Session Tonight!

November 30th – 7:00 p.m.

Where does the Planning Commission stand on the proposed Comprehensive Plan changes?

Do they support an almost 70% increase over the existing SSA?

Do they support a transportation plan that opens up large parts of rural Hanover for development?

What are their strategies for rural conservation?

During the update process for the Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Commission has held public workshops at the high schools and public work sessions for input. After reading the ROUGH DRAFT of the Comprehensive Plan Update, its apparent that citizens are not being heard.

Citizens have overwhelmingly told the PC that they want to preserve the rural character of Hanover and do not support the current proposed update of the Comp Plan. Please attend this work session and ask the PC:

* To delete the proposed areas of expansion for the SSA.

* To refuse the transportation plan that was presented on November 14 — it paves over Hanover and opens up large expanses of rural land for development.

* To hire a consultant for rural preservation and green infrastructure.

It is time for the Planning Commission to tell us where they stand and whether they support the vast majority of Hanover Citizens who want to see a planning approach that honors rural preservation and common sense growth.

Your Choices – Your Voices – are needed.

See you tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the County Administration Bldg., Hanover Courthouse.

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Yowell and Hickory Hill Rezonings Denied!

The Planning Commission, during their November 16 meeting, heard impassioned input from citizens and developers’ representatives, but when the time came for a vote, denied both the Yowell Road and Hickory Hill rezoning requests.

Commissioners split 5-2 to deny the Yowell Road plan. Hickory Hill was denied on a 7-0 vote.

Citizens opposed the Yowell Road development on many grounds. They cited existing wetlands and runoff problems, too high density, lack of design integrity with the town of Ashland, insensitivity of the developers to citizen queries and exacerbation of traffic problems.

On the controversial Hickory Hill rezoning, speakers generally thought a rural cluster, RC zoning, was a suitable fit in the county, but questioned the 277-unit density, pointing to the amount of traffic which would ensue. Several citizens also wanted to see a more vigorous effort at historic preservation in and around the Hickory Hill home and dependencies.

Green Infrastructure: Strategic Conservation for Hanover County

Successful land conservation in Hanover County needs to be:

More proactive and less reactive
More systematic and less haphazard
Multifunctional, not single purpose
Large scale, not small scale, and;
Better integrated with other efforts to manage growth and development.

The key to accomplishing this is “green infrastructure,” a framework that provides a strategic approach to land conservation. Just as Hanover needs to upgrade and plan its “gray” infrastructure (roads, sewers, utilities, etc.), it also needs to plan and develop its “green” infrastructure — a network of open space, woodlands, wildlife habitat, parks and other natural areas that sustain clean air, water, natural resources.

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE is an interconnected network of green space that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions and provides associated benefits to human populations. Green infrastructure is the ecological framework needed for environmental, social and economic sustainability. Green infrastructure differs from conventional approaches to open space planning because it looks at conservation values and actions in concert with land development, growth management and built infrastructure planning. Other conservation approaches are undertaken in isolation from — or even in opposition to — development.

The total funding devoted to land conservation is just a small fraction of what we spend on transportation and other infrastructure needs. Hanover needs to develop new sources of conservation capital, both public and private for conservation and rural preservation planning.

Green infrastructure is not a new idea. It is based upon planning and conservation efforts started 150 years ago and is rooted in two important concepts: (1) linking parks and other green spaces for the benefit of people, and (2) preserving and linking natural areas to benefit biodiversity and counter habitat fragmentation.

Green infrastructure represents the next generation of conservation action because it forges an important connection between land conservation and land use planning. Traditional land conservation and green infrastructure planning both focus on environmental restoration and preservation, but green infrastructure also concentrates on the pace, shape, and location of development and its relationship to important natural resources and amenities. Unlike more conventional conservation approaches, green infrastructure strategies actively seek to promote more efficient and sustainable land use and development patterns, as well as protect natural ecosystems.

Open space protection can no longer be viewed as a community amenity but rather a community necessity.

This information was excerpted from the

Comp Plan Work Session, November 14th!

Many questions remain unanswered regarding Hanover County’s Comp Plan and tomorrow night (7 pm, Hanover County Courhouse Complex) presents another opportunity to voice your questions and concerns! Are planning assumptions used by the consultants and County Planners to justify SUPER-SIZING the SSA agreed upon? Will the transportation element be tied to planning for green infrastructure? After repeated requests by citizens, will the County hire and consults with true rural preservationists, conservationists, and other speicalists? Please join CHF on Tuesday, November 14th at 7 pm to voice your input, your ideas, your questions regarding the Comp Plan.