Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sustainability - UN Agenda 21 - ICLEI - #2851 - Sustainable Growth Environmental Groups Join Forces for Comp Plan Future (2) Joint Letter to City, County and Regional Planners (3) 'Many Plans, One Community' Open House -Kickoff Event for Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission - NBC29 (4) Large Turnout for Kickoff of Local Planning Effort - Brian Wheeler - Charlottesville Tomorrow (5) Photos from Open House

Environmental Groups Join Forces for Comp Plan Future - NBC29 - Seven environmental groups are joining forces to make their voices heard in the planning process for Charlottesville and Albemarle County. They're 'demanding' planners make preservation and conservation more of a priority to guide future growth. The groups are the League of Women Voters of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, the Southern Environmental Law Center, Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population, the Rivanna Conservation Society, and the Piedmont Environmental Council. These groups don't always agree and have been divided recently by the 50-year water plan but now the groups have signed on to a letter - sent to city, county, and regional planners. They're calling for a more active role in the comprehensive planning process - which is just kicking off - for Charlottesville and Albemarle. Read more......  Link to Joint Letter to City, County, Regional Planners from seven environmental groups.....

'Many Plans, One Community' Open House - Albemarle County Office Building - For the first time ever, Charlottesville and Albemarle county are working together to review their comprehensive plans for the future. Those plans include transportation, land use and quality of life issues among other things. Those involved say it's a sign of things to come.  Virginia state code requires localities to update their comprehensive plans every five years. This time around, Charlottesville and Albemarle County are hoping to give the public a better chance to voice their opinions.  City of Charlottesville Planning Manager Missy Creasy said, "We're one community in many ways, and we can maintain our independent aspects, but we have an opportunity to work together on things that we call care about."  Wednesday's open house, called "Many Plans, One Community", was a kickoff event for both the city and the county. Both sides are hoping to take a look at existing comprehensive plans and update them to reflect the community's needs.  Albemarle County Chief of Planning David Benish said, "It's good to have that discussion and figure out where there are some common issues that we might be able to settle and set a plan for within this process." Focus areas include transportation, housing, environmental issues, and livability.  Read more........  Link to Web Site.....  To View Posters that were on display at the open house..........  Special attention to County Poster 2 - Albemarle Urban and Rural Areas........- Albemarle’s growth management goal protects the elements that define the Rural Area and promotes Development Areas as the place to support the County’s future growth, 5% of the County is designated as Development Area and contains just over half of the County’s population. Please look on this web site at the top, category 'Private Property Right, UN Agenda 21, ICLEI,' to understand the importance of why this is important and needs our participation to protect our private property rights.

Large Turnout for Kickoff of Local Planning Effort - Brian Wheeler - Charlottesville Tomorrow -  A large crowd of community members, both new and old, gathered at the Albemarle County Office Building on Wednesday to participate in the launch of the Livable Communities Planning Project.  Funded by an almost $1 million federal grant, the effort is being coordinated by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. The three-year project will contribute to updates of Charlottesville’s and the county’s comprehensive and transportation plans. Jefferson Area Tea Party member Charles Battig reviewed the materials at the open house and said he was interested to see the term “sustainability” had been replaced with “livability.”  “What happened to ‘sustainability?’” Battig asked. “Did it become a dirty word? It makes sense to get everyone involved, but the question is to what degree this is driven by different visions of what a sustainable or livable community might be?”  “It never works when you try and plan a perfect community,” Battig added. “Cities that are vibrant evolve over time and they are not necessarily planned communities.”

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