Residents want Fluvanna to stay rural

Comprehensive Plan evolves

By Heather Michon

More than two dozen residents attended an open house at the Fluvanna Public Library on Thursday night (June 9) to learn more about the development of the county’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

This was the final of four open houses sponsored by the county to give the public insight into the planning process and to allow residents to share some of their views on growth and development over the next few years. Previous meetings were held on March 10, April 14, and May 12.

Under Virginia law, each county planning department is required to produce an updated Comprehensive Plan – often referred to simply as the “comp plan” – every few years. The most recent update was originally scheduled for 2020 but was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

While much of the comprehensive plan is a general survey of natural resources and existing infrastructure, one of the most vital parts of the document lays out the community’s priorities for future growth and development.  

“That’s really the greatest part of planning, meeting with you all,” said Community Development Director Douglas Miles during a brief presentation during the two-hour open house.

The major theme that has emerged from the events is that most residents want to keep Fluvanna’s inherently rural character. 

“That’s job number one,” said Miles.

This means people don’t want to see sprawling subdivisions – and while there is a desire for more businesses and retail opportunities, they would prefer those developments be shielded as much as possible behind landscaping and tree corridors.

Another major theme was moving development away from the Lake Monticello area up towards Zion Crossroads.

Over the last few decades, Lake Monticello has been the only part of the county with the water and sewer infrastructure sufficient to support a large number of homes and businesses. As a result, more than 40 percent of the population lives within a few miles of the Lake, and most of the major retail opportunities are located in that area.

With the completion of the new water and sewer system at Zion Crossroads now in sight, the county is hoping to see a major expansion of businesses and services grow up around it.

Ironically, Miles noted that with the recent approval of a business park in Fork Union, “you may see a lot of growth in Fork Union in the short term,” with Zion Crossroads growing over the long term.

While this was the last open house, work on the plan will continue for months to come. Some of the next key dates are work sessions planned for Sept. 13 and Oct. 11, and a finalized draft won’t come up for approval until the end of the year.

The county has put all the maps and reports regarding the 2040 plan online at Residents can also share their views at any time through the My Two Cents comment portal on the county website. 

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