[BACKGROUND: The Northeast Vienna Citizens Association asked all candidates four questions for their newsletter. Below is an my response to their questions]
This year the Town staff and the Planning Commission will begin the process of updating the Comprehensive Plan for 2020, an ideal time to begin analysis of the Mill Street / Dominion Road Light Industrial /Commercial Corridor. Do you support public meeting(s) to bring together residents and businesses in the area to discuss its future.
The development process for the Comprehensive Plan makes extensive use of public Planning Commission subcommittee meetings as well as Planning Commission and Town Council work sessions and public hearings prior to adoption. Our community is looking forward on a variety of issues and areas where the Comprehensive Plan update would benefit from focused meetings as part of the overall process. This includes subjects such as sustainability/environment, transportation, economic development, and business formation/retention. In addition, commercial areas such as Maple Avenue, Church Street, Cedar Lane Shopping Center as well as the commercial/light industrial area along Mill
Street/Dominion Road would benefit from additional conversations. The goal of the Comprehensive Plan process is to develop a five year plan for the community with input from business, residents and property owners expressed as goals and measurable objectives that focuses the annual budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
What is your position on the Town granting variances on projects where the Town will be part owner and therefore a beneficiary of the variance?
Many communities throughout the state have projects for their own public buildings that move through local planning process which include requests for site plan modifications, conditional uses, rezoning, and other changes. The process requires the recommendation of the Planning Commission, potential action of the Board of Zoning Appeals, and an affirmative action by the Town’s Council. Vienna is not unique in this matter. The recently opened Vienna Community Center included site plan modifications for minimum side yard, open space, parking space size and the number of parking spaces. The interest of the community is protected by an open process of public meetings and public hearings where citizens can express their position and provide input to the process.