Monday, December 15, 2014
The ghost of Goochland yet to come
Sugarplums aside, visions of the future of Goochland County are coming into focus.
Throughout late 2014, the Planning Commission and Community Development Staff have been working their way through the county’s comprehensive land use plan, which is due for its five year review. Next spring citizens will have ample opportunity to examine and comment on the proposed version.
The supervisors and planning commissioners have held several workshops focused on the application of mixed use and multifamily zoning in Goochland.
Discussion at a December 4 workshop seems to have identified enough detail for staff to put together preliminary draft zoning rules for some sort of mixed use.
As a practical matter, the higher densities that are a feature of mixed use development—the combination of residential and commercial/business in close proximity—will work only in areas served by public water and sewer. For now, that means the Centerville village.
Expect to hear lots more on this subject in 2015.
Carryover items include proposals for a cell tower near Millers Lane; office/retail on Patterson Avenue; and a Taco Bell in Centerville, all to be voted on early in the year.
An Audi dealership is also on the horizon for Centerville, which is just plain good news.
A West Creek recreational trail system is in the works that will follow utility line rights-of-way. It would be nice if the trails included a Tuckahoe Creek overlook so more people could see for themselves just how close the end of Ridgefield Parkway in Henrico is to Goochland and increase interest in a bridge connector to Route 288.
Changes are afoot all over the county.
The new fire-rescue station in Hadensville, the first built by the county, should be well underway in the New Year. In addition to a home for EMTs and firefighters, the facility will also serve as an emergency shelter and community meeting place.
Ground will soon be broken for a new emergency operations center (EOC) behind the Courthouse.
Improvements to the gym at the Central High/Old Middle School are expected to be completed early in 2015 to meet the increasing demand for recreational space. The original portion of the building will be cleaned up while a citizen committee explores additional repurposing options. This will only use a portion of the $500,000 set aside by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year.
Ordinance amendments now make it easier and less expensive to start small agribusinesses. This is the result of the Rural Economic Development Committee, which was formed to investigate ways to encourage agribusiness as part of the commitment to preserve Goochland’s rural character. The rules on chicken keeping were also relaxed.
The real estate market is showing signs of life. In addition to the high density subdivisions being built around Centerville, Breeze Hill on Fairgrounds Road in Maidens is underway. For more information see: www.breezehill.info.
Goochland yet to come will offer an environment where possibility can become reality.