main banner

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Community Council on Land Use Engagement starts work next week

The Community Council on Land Use Engagement convened by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova will hold its first meeting Feb. 13.

The council has been charged with producing “a set of recommendations on ways to improve Fairfax County's public outreach and community engagement in the land use and development process.” Bulova announced her plan to create this ad hoc group as a “board matter” during the Jan. 24 BoS meeting.

The group will be chaired by Walter Alcorn of the Hunter Mill District, a former member of the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

Council members from the Mason District include Brad McKinney; Jeffrey Longo (Sleepy Hollow Manor Citizens Association); and Deborah Fraser (Stonegate at Landmark HOA and founder of a group that opposed the temporary relocation of the Bailey’s Crossroads homeless shelter in Lincolnia).

There are five council members from the Braddock District: Robert Cain, Kevin O’Neill, Vincent Picciano, Sherry Fisher, and Sandra Lukic Dapoigny.

Other members include Karen Campblin (Sully), Mike Carlin (Springfield), Elizabeth John (Dranesville), Barbara Lippa (Sully), Chris Soule (Lee), Annmarie Swope (Hunter Mill/Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations), and Scott Adams and Lori Greenlief (land use attorneys with McGuireWoods).

County staff serving on the council include Tony Castrilli, director, Office of Public Affairs; Thomas Conry, Department of Information Technology; and Chase Suddith, Office of the Deputy County Executive.

Members of the public were asked to write to Bulova if they wanted to be on the council. Bulova’s office has not yet provided more detailed biographies of those selected.

“No member is a developer, but some have development-related experience,” says Clayton Medford, Bulova’s chief of staff. “Mike Carlin does government relations and has represented land use clients, but his experience is far more broad.” A land use attorney was added “for the purpose of providing the developer perspective.”

The council will meet about five times, with the goal of determining how the county’s procedures for communicating with and engaging the public on land use issues can be improved.

“With the volume of information county residents receive in multiple ways, a message can be lost or the amount of information received is so voluminous as to be overwhelming,” Bulova wrote in the Board Matter. “We all sometimes hear from residents, particularly in the area of land use, that they were unaware or felt uninformed about a pending decision before the board which could have an impact on their community.”

The work of the council is expected to complement two other ongoing efforts to improve community engagement on land use – a fellowship program with the Urban Land Institute and the implementation of a new land use review process called Fairfax First.

The agenda for the council’s first meeting, Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m., in Rooms 4/5 at the Fairfax County Government Center, includes a history of planning, zoning, and community outreach and a discussion of the council’s priorities, with presentations by Marianne Gardner, director of the Planning Division, and Planning Commissioner Jim Hart.

Discussion topics include the zoning ordinance, the Comprehensive Plan, Area Plans Reviews (1990s-2013), and Fairfax Forward (2013-16).

Agenda topics for future meetings include the following:
  • Feb. 27—Land Use 101, covering the Comprehensive Plan, zoning categories, area plans, the transportation map, by-right development, proffers, development conditions, site plans, rezoning, special exceptions, plan amendments, zoning amendments, code compliance, and environmental regulations. 
  • March 13—The Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission (land use committees, district councils, public hearings, and community presentations) and the developer perspective. 
  • March 27—Breakout sessions and full council discussion on such questions as: How do you find out about county government activities? How can the county keep you better informed? How can the county reach out to more people? What can the county learn from other jurisdictions? When it is best to brief the community on a land use issue? 
  • April 17 and April 24—Review and approval of a draft report. 

No comments:

Post a Comment