29 September 2015
With a newly unified focus, county leaders and staff have crafted a new vision for Fluvanna – one that includes infrastructure and a robust economy at Zion Crossroads.
But turning an idea into reality takes a lot of legwork. Different departments within the county – from public works to planning to economic development – have been formulating individual plans that, when knit together, will place Zion Crossroads on firmer footing for the future.Water
An $8 million water system, due to be completed around the spring of 2018, may be a springboard for development at Zion Crossroads, since businesses can’t function without water.
The system will shuttle up to 75,000 gallons of water per day from the Department of Corrections facility on Rt. 250 to the corner of Rt. 250 and Rt. 15 at Zion Crossroads, ending shortly down Rt. 15 in Fluvanna. It will also be fitted with sewer force mains, or collection pipes.
System design will take place over the winter, with a final design approved in the spring of next year. Land and easement acquisition should happen during the spring and summer, and construction is scheduled to begin at the end of the summer – less than a year from now. Wayne Stephens, director of public works, said that a relative lack of “potential roadblocks” gave him a fair amount of confidence that the project could be completed on time.Zoning
As water makes its way to Zion Crossroads, developers may become interested in buying property. And with so-called floating zones and hybrid zones, the planning department wants to make that process easier and more attractive for future buyers and sellers alike.
Usually when someone wants to rezone property from, say, agricultural to business, it takes a while, said planner Jay Lindsey. The applicant has to go through the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, have public hearings, and pay the costs that go along with the application. Plus, said Lindsey, they don’t always know what they want to do with the land – just that they want it zoned commercial or industrial – or they want to sell it to someone else with that zoning intact.
In an effort to boost economic development, the planning department hopes to simplify that process through the use of floating zones, which Lindsey described as floating over sections of the map until they are pinned to particular properties. “The idea here is that an area that we’ve already decided is desirable for, say, business growth, gets preapproved for that zoning,” said Lindsey. “The zoning stays as-is unless the owner wants to change it, but if they do, it’s not the whole process. They can bypass some of the steps because the county has already done them.”