Comp Plan Hearings

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

CUMBERLAND — Most citizens say Cumberland needs a grocery store. But where should it go?

That is the sort of question that the Comprehensive Plan is supposed to help answer.

The plan is meant to be a guide for the county as it seeks to encourage development while maintaining its rural character. And the plan is almost finished.

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One change in the new plan is the designation of all of Route 60 as an economic growth area, instead of just a portion in the courthouse area.

There have been forums and surveys. There has been a joint meeting between the planning commission and board of supervisors. And now it is time to actually adopt the new plan.

Two public hearings have been scheduled in the upcoming weeks for citizens to provide input before it comes before the board of supervisors for adoption.

There is only one month left for citizens to voice their opinion.

A county zoning map shows Route 60 cutting through Cumberland County, dividing it north from south, sheathed in a thin strip of blue on either side. Zoning? Residential.

Sure, there are three red, B-1 business zoning blotches around the courthouse area. But the red is in the minority, more like a mild case of chicken pox.

This is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan that was adopted seven years ago. The area surrounding the courthouse and slightly to the east and west were designated for growth along Route 60 at that time, but the rest was left residential.

Not so with the draft update of the Comprehensive Plan. It has a different approach. It hopes for a business growth epidemic all along Route 60, from Powhatan to Buckingham.

All of the land bordering that road is designated as a growth area. Sure, some of it is low intensity, some moderate, but it’s all designated growth.

Like the current plan, Route 45 north of Farmville and the Cartersville area are also designated as growth areas.

However, plans for Cartersville have been scaled back a bit. While its center is designated a high growth area in the current plan, the draft plan being reviewed now designates the area for low intensity-residential growth.

After months of planning and discussion the Cumberland Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the final draft of the revised plan.

The commission will hold a hearing on Monday evening, July 15, at 6:30 p.m. They will listen to public comments and determine if any changes should be made to the plan before providing a recommendation to the board of supervisors.

The Cumberland Board of Supervisors has also scheduled a public hearing on the plan, which will be held during their next meeting, August 13, at 7 p.m.

A copy of the draft plan is available on the county website,, or in hardcopy at the Planning and Zoning office.