The comprehensive plan stakeholders committee, which after three meetings is still hashing out how it will work for the next year and a half, met the consultants the county has hired at its meeting Monday.
The new comprehensive plan will guide development in the county for the next 20 to 30 years. It consists of the General Plan, last revised in 2001; the Countywide Transportation Plan, which was updated in 2010; and a number of strategic plans on specific topics and areas, such as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Master Plan, the Heritage Preservation Plan, and the Arcola Area/Rt. 50 Corridor Plan.
A team of consulting firms, including Cincinnati-based McBride Dale Clarion, Kimley-Horn Associates, and Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, will be led by project manager C. Gregory Dale.
“This is what I would think of as a signature project,” Dale said at the committee meeting. “In consultant speak, what that means is that this is a really special project to us. We see so many exciting things happening here.”
Maxie Brown, the zoning administrator for the Town of Culpeper, worked with a similar team of consultants including Dale’s firm McBride Dale Clarion and Kimley-Horn Associates when Culpeper created its new comprehensive plan in 2010. Brown gave a glowing review of Dale’s work, and said she would not hesitate to hire him again.
“They asked questions, and they listened,” Brown said. “We made it very clear that we wanted our comprehensive plan to be different from any others. We didn’t want it to be a big old document sitting on a shelf that had a bunch of words in it. We wanted it to be something that the average person could discuss and read.”
Although Culpeper is a smaller jurisdiction at just over 16,000 residents, the town’s comprehensive plan review process was similar to Loudoun’s, including a 15-member steering committee formed of representatives from the citizenry and various town committees and boards.
“We worked to get representatives from each segment of the population here in Culpeper to get a broad view of what Culpeper wanted,” Brown said.
Loudoun’s 26-member stakeholder committee is expected to spend at least 13 months brainstorming and developing the new comprehensive plan through a process moderated and assisted by the county staff and consultants. Currently, the committee is spending the majority of its three-hour meetings breaking into smaller working groups and brainstorming ideas within the board’s nine designated overarching topic areas. These include economic development, transition policy areas, residential housing choice and diversity, redevelopment and reuse, the suburban policy area, community facilities and infrastructure, quality development, fiscal management and growth management.