After years of work, the Purcellville Planning Commission has published its draft update of the town’s Comprehensive Plan and begun collecting feedback from the public.
After posting the document on Oct. 14, planners held two open house sessions Saturday at town hall.
“[Public input] is going to formulate how the draft is revised,” said Planning Commission Chairwoman Theresa Stein. “This continues to be a work in progress.”
The draft has been worked on since 2015 when town council called for an update.
Since then, the commission has held numerous workshops and public input sessions to come up with the update, following a five-phase process that emphasizes community input. The first and second phases gathered resident feedback, which showed an overall desire to maintain the town’s small-town feel. The third phase posed public questions to determine how the plan could best achieve residents’ desires.
According to Stein, the most significant way the draft plan does this is by discouraging any expansion of the town’s boundaries.
“That’s something we had heard from the public that they were not interested in,” she said. “They’re looking for smaller scale.”
Residents also said they want more sidewalks, parks and open space, and Stein said the draft plan touches on improving and creating such amenities.
The plan review is now on phase four. The draft has been posted for public review. Public comments were collected during Saturday’s open house and the town has posted a survey on the town its website. Residents have until Nov. 3 to review the draft and submit feedback.
Director of Community Development Patrick Sullivan said the Planning Commission hopes to hold a formal public hearing early next year before voting to recommend the updated plan to Town Council, which will hold its own public hearings before adopting it.
The Code of Virginia requires towns to have a comprehensive plan that includes policies and recommendations for transportation, land use, affordable housing and location of future public facilities. Because comprehensive plans are not regulatory documents in Virginia, regulations must be adopted to implement the plan’s recommendations.
Purcellville’s first comprehensive plan was adopted in 1978. It wasn’t for another 20 years, however, that the plan addressed new growth challenges. The most recent update to the plan was made in 2011.
“I think this document reflects … how we want to see redevelopment occur,” Stein said. “That’s what will be seen in this document, is that it reflects that desire for a more traditional town.”