Purcellville Council to Join Commission in Comp Plan Review

The Purcellville Town Council last week made it clear that members plan to take a hands-on approach with the revisions to the Town Plan.

Statutorily, the early work developing the plan is in the hands of the Planning Commission. However, at least some council members plan to be around the table during those talks.

The council on Sept. 13 adopted a resolution giving public notice of a series of special meetings that will be held concurrently with the Planning Commission’s sessions on the comprehensive plan. The action was taken on advice of Town Attorney Sally Hankins to ensure the gathering of council members complied with Virginia’s open meeting laws.

The resolution was needed to permit the council to fully participate in the Planning Commission’s comprehensive plan review, Hankins said, as “the Virginia Freedom of Information Art does not allow three or more members of Town Council to discuss public business that is likely to come before it, unless such discussion is occurring within a lawful meeting of the Town Council.”

The Planning Commission is responsible for considering possible revisions and presenting their recommendations to the county or town government entity following a public hearing. The governing body then holds its own public hearing before making its decision on the plan.

The meetings, which will be held through early November, are scheduled to be held on Thursdays at Town Hall at 7 p.m., with the exception of three two-hour comprehensive plan workshops with the public. The first two will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Carver Center, 200 E. Willie Palmer Way, in Purcellville. A third workshop will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at Town Hall, 221 S. Nursery Ave. in Purcellville.

The work sessions represent the fourth round of public input in what has been an extensive public engagement by the Planning Commission.

Each workshop will begin with an informational presentation on the current status of the plan update process, and include summaries of the first three rounds of public input, the results of the exercises completed by members of the public and the research and analysis findings conducted by the town’s planning team. Attendees will have the opportunity to respond to posted questions designed to provide more guidance for the Planning Commission, according to Senior Planner Daniel Galindo.

During last week’s council meeting, Galindo gave an update on the commissioners’ progress and presented the draft vision statement for the plan, which serves as a guide for decision making and future development:  “Purcellville will preserve and protect its unique, thriving and diverse small town charm by remaining a place: 1. That is mindful of its character and historic heritage; 2. Where visitors are appreciative of its physical beauty and valued environment, and; 3. Where citizens delight in living and participating in the community.”

Galindo also noted that the town’s growth rate has slowed significantly since 2010. The current population is just over 9,000. The number of jobs in town more than doubled between 2004 and 2014, and the town is projected to add more than 5,000 new jobs by 2040. Education, construction and accommodations/food service are projected half the jobs in town in 2040.

Housing stock also rose significantly between 2010 and 2014, almost doubling, and the average household and family size is significantly larger in Purcellville than in the nation as a whole.

For more information or questions, contact Galindo at 540-338-2304 or dgalindo@purcellvilleva.gov.


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