Comp Plan survey results presented

Published 3:33 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Berkley Group (TBG) presented results of a survey that the Town of Farmville made available to area residents beginning December 2018 ahead of the regular March Town Council work session. Data compiled from the survey will be a tool that Farmville officials use as they update the structure of existing zoning ordinances and districts as found in the town’s 2017-2022 Comprehensive Plan. There were 484 respondents to the 2019 survey.

Among the group of respondents, 274 or 56.61 percent lived in town. Farmville business owners made up 9.92 percent, or 48 members of the total response group.

Arguably the most revealing numbers were associated with questions that asked about residents’ vision for Farmville’s future.

Email newsletter signup

In response to the survey question ‘What do you value most about Farmville?’ and given the option to choose three answers of the 484 responses, 327 indicated they valued Farmville’s small town character most. The presence of Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College netted 247 votes and Farmville’s historic District was a favorite with 212 votes on the survey. Culture and events received 132 votes; natural beauty 122 followed recreation opportunities with 111 votes.

When it came time for residents’ ideas of what the town should focus on for the future, 340 votes were in favor of providing quality of life amenities to attract younger families and workers. Encouraging economic development and job growth was a close second with 322 votes.

A majority of respondents, 391, feel Farmville should provide for both economic and residential growth while 278 favor single-family homes, and 226 think a focus on senior living is best.

Four hundred ten residents are in favor of more grocery, pharmacies and hardware stores as a part of the town’s commercial development.

The biggest concerns of residents, according to the survey, were public school performance, lack of shopping and services and a lack of job opportunities, with 287,286 and 270 votes respectively

A town or municipality’s comprehensive plan defines its long-term vision for the future as well as the short-term goals to complete in order to realize that vision. Provisions and ordinances for land use, transportation, infrastructure, and economic and residential expansion are all a part of the plan. Over time adjustments must be made to the plan to accommodate growth. This is what is happening in Farmville.

Currently, the town is in the process of updating the structure of its existing zoning ordinances. It is also redefining certain districts to provide for economic as well as residential expansion.

The proposed changes to the structure of the town’s existing zoning ordinances would consolidate certain residential and business zones, eliminating the currently related subset that in many instances, carries an identical definition.

Proposed residential rezoning includes expansion of the town’s R3 zone, defined as high-density neighborhood in the draft plan presented by (TBG).

Updates also include proposed rezoning that would greatly expand the B2, or transitional business district of Farmville in both directions of each of the main transportation corridors south and north along U.S. Route 15 and state Route 45 as well as Business Route 460.

The updates proposed by TBG are another step in a longer process.

Currently, the draft plan of the main structure of the zoning ordinances and residential rezoning are the only items completed. The next steps in the process will be to update the Dimensional Standards Tables for new districts, update the use tables, assigning by-right and conditional uses and to update the definitions of zoning ordinances, removing all outdated terms.