Comprehensive Plan

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

Three-year-old Dana may not know what the comprehensive plan is, but she's bound to be affected by it. It covers issues until the year 2020 and her Nana wants to make sure smart growth is part of the plan.

"We adopted a rule called the 80-20 rule that means of growth that will be recommended it will follow already existing water-sewer lines," Nancy Jones said.

They'd like to add bike paths, buggy routes, museums and galleries.

"Another smart move is we're encouraging growth around the outlying cities like Broadway, Timberville, Elkton, where it would be a normal growth pattern," said Jones.

Also, in an effort to reduce sprawl the plan includes mixed residential districts-homes and businesses in the same neighborhood.

"You're centering it where there's already existing areas rather than just allowing strip malls to spring up anywhere," Jones said.

The most controversial part is the greenbelt reserve-an open space about a mile wide, around the city of Harrisonburg. CAP members say it's paving the way for a loop road.

"The greenbelt is another word for beltway the specific purpose of this greenbelt in the comprehensive plan is to put a limited access road-it goes back to the original concept nobody yet has explained why we need a beltway," Dan Stickley said.

"I don't see it like that at all-I see it as a reserve of land if you need a section of a connector you can put it in there, but it is not mandated it must go there and it's used for other things," Jones said.

Your chance to make comments or question the plan is Wednesday. There's a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. at the Rockingham County Administration Building.

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