Hanover citizens: Comp Plan workshops need your input

Growth management. Better development design standards. Rural preservation. More open and green space.

These issues and more are on the table as Hanover’s Comp Plan update process moves forward.

Envision Hanover has announced dates for two interactive workshops. See dates and times:

Thursday, July 28, 2022 (5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Montpelier Center for Arts and Education

17205 Mountain Road

Montpelier, VA 23192

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 (5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Atlee Branch Library

9212 Rutlandshire Drive

Mechanicsville, VA 23116

Citizens will work in small groups to discuss future land uses in the County. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Visit www.envisionhanover.com/upcoming-events or call (804) 365-6171 for registration and more information.

Coming up this week . . .

The Community Participation Team meets Thursday, July 14, 6:00 p.m. at Ashland Branch Library. This advisory group is composed of Hanover’s seven Planning Commissioners and seven citizen appointees from the magisterial districts. Citizens’ Time is part of the agenda.

Click here to view the agenda and documents related to the CPT’s activity from its June 8 inaugural meeting.

Stay in touch with your elected and appointed officials. Visit https://hanoversfuture.org/Contacts/  for contact information.

Your County. Your future. Thank you.

Planning Commission sends CPA forward on a 6-1 vote

Is anyone in County government listening to the citizens?

It is hard to think so after the Planning Commission’s June 16 public hearing on two applications for the revived Hickory Grove proposal. 

Hickory Hill, II LLC is asking for a comprehensive plan amendment to change land use to Commercial, Suburban General and Suburban High to make way for its proposed 52-acre development at the intersection of Rte 54 and Providence Church Road. The companion rezoning features 203 townhomes on 43 acres and three speculative commercial pad sites on 9 acres fronting on Rte 54.

Eleven citizens offered credible opposition to the mammoth Hickory Grove development. Two spoke in favor. Opposition centered on higher traffic volume, loss of rural character, housing density and leapfrogging commercial development from the interstate corridor.

The comprehensive plan amendment was approved on a 6-1 vote, Ashland District Commissioner Alan Abbott dissenting.

This Hickory Grove proposal, in short, is the wrong development in the wrong place. Citizens have said they favor growth management, gentler suburban-rural transitions, better development design standards, green/open space and rural character. 

Nothing offered by the applicant in this Hickory Grove public hearing captured any of these characteristics.

It is disconcerting that the County is considering these applications before the Comp Plan update is complete. A thoughtful, comprehensive planning process engaging all stakeholders should be the priority.

The optics are grim. The County seems to be serving a narrow interest to the detriment of the broader good.

Updates from County and Town: Hickory Grove, Ashcake Road Landfill, Luck Farm Market

Gnarly issues characterize three applications coming up for Hanover Planning Commission public hearings Thursday, June 16, 6:00 p.m. 

Hickory Hill, LLC will present two cases (CPA2021-00001 and REZ2021-00014) as it seeks to move forward with a bulked up Hickory Grove project on 52 acres at the intersection of Rte 54 and Providence Church Road. 

The Comprehensive Plan Amendment requests a land use change to Commercial, Suburban General and Suburban High residential (the latter allows 3-7 dwelling units/acre). A rezoning proposes townhomes and three speculative commercial pad sites.

This project featuring dense residential and interstate commercial is completely out of sync with the current semi-rural character east of Ashland.

Ashcake Road Landfill, Inc. (CUP2021-00001) for years has been permitted uses for a construction debris dump and a borrow pit on 232 acres. The applicant now seeks an amendment to close the landfill and convert the borrow pit to a new landfill. 

The historic, African-American Brown Grove community is set up for the perfect storm of a mishandled traffic study, environmental degradation and encroachment on its historic features.

Documents for both cases may be seen at this link.

Deferred by Ashland Planning Commission after June 8 hearing . . .

The Luck Farm Market project (CPA2022-03 and REZ22-0414) will be further considered at the Commission’s July 13 meeting. The Commission has 120 days from its May meeting to act.

Stay in touch with County and Town officials: https://hanoversfuture.org/Contacts/

The future is being planned now. Give voice to your vision.

Citizens: stronger aesthetic and environmental standards wanted

Envision Hanover on June 8 released results of its Visual Preference Survey which offered citizens the opportunity to comment regarding development design standards. 

High on the list for respondents were pedestrian and bicycle friendly thoroughfares, more neighborhood street trees, generous vegetated buffers, accessible open spaces for both active and passive use and scaled, people-friendly architectural design.

Citizens have expressed their preferences for years on development standards. It is time for the County to require a better product from developers.

A memo summarizing the feedback received can be found HERE. The full list of open-ended responses received is available online HERE.

Sign up to receive regular updates from Envision Hanover at

envisionhanover.com

Hanover Comp Plan: Community Participation Team meetings commence June 8

Envision Hanover just announced the inaugural meeting of the Community Participation Team (CPT), an advisory group composed of Planning Commissioners and citizen appointees. The group will discuss planning concepts and provide input to the Comp Plan project team.

The meeting is Wednesday, June 8, 6:00 p.m. at the Mechanicsville Library. The agenda and meeting materials are posted at CPT June 8th Meeting Agenda Packet

The future is being planned now. 

Communicate with your Supervisors, Planning Commissioners and County officials: https://hanoversfuture.org/Contacts/ 

The citizen voice matters. Thank you for your voice.