The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 19, 2013

Fayetteville officials to tweak plan

By C.V. Moore
Register-Herald Reporter

— Next Monday Fayetteville’s Planning and Zoning Board will review the town’s vision, goals and objectives for the next 10 years. Part of Fayetteville’s comprehensive planning process, the meeting is open to the public.

Last month, students from the WVU College of Law’s Land Use and Sustainable Development Clinic developed a vision statement based on input from community surveys, a public meeting and the town’s Planning and Zoning Board.

The statement is supposed to capture the town’s future aspirations.

Along with several other agenda items, the statement will be up for discussion at Monday’s meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

A summary of stakeholder interviews and existing land use ordinances will also be presented at the meeting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to review and comment on a report about existing conditions in town.

Finally, the Planning and Zoning board will discuss a future land use map, identifying areas for historic preservation, conservation and development, as well as other uses required by state code.

A comprehensive plan is a community’s aspirational vision for the future, and the legal basis for its land use ordinances.

Development of the document is well under way in Fayetteville.

In January, community members discussed the results of a public meeting held in December.

Among many other items, the community identified its dining destinations, theater, historic district and location near the New River Gorge as assets.

Challenges include developing more rental housing, building more bicycle routes and trails to connect towns, getting people off the highway to visit downtown and coping with a changing community.

When civics classes at Fayetteville High School were asked to identify needed improvements in town, they came up with a robust and savvy list. Items include repairing schools, modernizing the library, supporting farmers in the area, police patrol of Town Park and holding more festivals to bring people to town.

A complete account of the public meeting and youth focus group results can be downloaded at fayettevilleplan.wordpress.com.

Organizers from the law clinic have also developed a timeline for completing the rest of the planning process in time for a 2014 deadline.

Looking ahead to a meeting in March, organizers plan to lead discussions on housing issues and may decide to host an additional focus group with key stakeholders like Realtors and developers.

Public water and sewage providers, local police, EMS and fire services will be contacted and municipal parks will be assessed before that meeting as well, and the results of that research will be shared.

Transportation, parking, pedestrian and bicycle systems will also be discussed.

As spring rolls around, the focus shifts to economic development. By summer, another public meeting will be held to present an action plan and to ask the public to prioritize recommendations. A public hearing on the draft comprehensive plan will be held in the fall.

For more information on the planning process and to download notes and materials from meetings, visit fayettevilleplan.wordpress.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visionfayetteville.

E-mail: cmoore@register-herald.com