Second open house set

Published 4:23 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A second Open House to discuss the Town of Farmville and significant updates to its comprehensive plan and ordinances is set for Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Robert Russa Moton Museum at 900 Griffin Blvd. from 6:30-8 p.m.

The town recently began the process to update its comprehensive plan and zoning and subdivision ordinances, holding the first of several community meetings Aug. 23 at the Firemen’s Sports Arena.

According to a public notice of the upcoming open house, officials said the meeting will allow residents to “learn about the update process, ask questions, and provide input on specific topics and issues.”

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The Berkley Group is working with the town to develop the new comprehensive plan, which was last updated in 2005. Portions of the plan and ordinances have been updated and amended since then.

Berkely Group representative Catherine Redfern defined a comprehensive plan during the August meeting as a “document that showcases a locality’s assets and areas for improvement.” She cited a state code, § 15.2-2223, that requires a town, city and county to have a comprehensive plan. Redfern said a comprehensive plan offers details on land use, transportation networks, demographics, housing, local economy, existing businesses and businesses the town may look to attract, and public facilities.

She and representative Todd Gordon gave a timeline of the process to gather data for the comprehensive plan and two ordinances, which they will update simultaneously. This includes conducting public workshops and surveys, conducting transportation and land use analyses, making drafts of the plan and ordinances, holding public review and refining the documents and lastly holding a public hearing and adoption of the comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance and subdivision ordinance.

Participants during the August meeting worked in groups to detail the strengths, weaknesses, vision statement and goals they would like to see for the Town of Farmville.

Strengths audience members suggested during the meeting included the town’s historical resources, its close proximity to Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College, ample recreational opportunities due to the nearby colleges, proximity to nature through High Bridge Trail and the Appomattox River, the town being clean and often free of litter, its close proximity to medical services and having an engaged and service-oriented community.

Challenges included lack of off-campus student housing or housing options for residents and newcomers, a quality job market, a large percentage of the population being underprivileged and living in poverty, lack of support in the public school system, lack of retail and grocery options and lack of bike access on roadways. Goals included maintaining the small-town character of Farmville but offering more retail and grocery options, better supporting the public school system and creating an inclusive community for families, students, elderly, youth and young professionals.

To learn more about the open house or to ask questions, email or call Assistant Town Manager Scott Davis at sdavis@ or (434) 392-8465. See what community members discussed during the August Open House at the Town of Farmville website. The document can be accessed at uploads/2018/09/Public- Workshop-Small-Group- Input.pdf.