This evening there was a public meeting at the convention center on Virginia Beach's draft Comprehensive Plan. I counted 17 in attendance. (City Staff told me there were 26 last Thursday evening at the Bayside Recreation Center.)
The meeting started with a Presentation by Tom Pauls, who is the City's chief land planner. There were stations around the room where the public could ask questions and make comments. Most everyone had made their points within an hour.
As for myself, I first went to the housing station to advocate for low-income housing. While the draft has language about "diverse" housing, it never tackles our low-income housing shortage head on. Afterwards, I walked over to Transportation to see what was going on.
The City is asking residents for suggestions for naming Strategic Growth Area 2, the land southwest of Regent University and next to Interstate 64. One group wanted "Just Say 'No' To Pat". Since it's in Centerville District, I threw in "Dyerville" and "South Newark". (Councilman Bob Dyer is originally from Newark, NJ.)
There are still four additional chances scheduled for the public to comment on the new Comprehensive Plan:
1. Thursday, October 29
Creeds Elementary School, 7 P.M.
2. Wednesday, November 12
Planning Commission, Noon
3. Tuesday, December 1
City Council public comment, 6 P.M.
4. Tuesday, December 8
tentative City Council approval, 6 P.M.
As a Catholic, I had to grin at that last date: December 8 is the Feast Of The Immaculate Conception. The Comp Plan being adopted on Immaculate Conception? There have to be some good lines there.
There's a school of thought that argues that the Comprehensive Plan is the most important document adopted by local government. While I believe it's second (after the Budget), the point I want to make with residents is that you need to read the Plan and voice your opinion prior to the City Council vote. The Comp Plan is that important!