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July 16, 2010

Supervisors delay decision on economic development action plan

Reader comments (0) By Bridgett Lynn
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Friday, July 16, 2010

No action has been taken yet by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to approve an economic development action plan that has been under review for the past two months.

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“Probably one of the most overriding concerns that we heard [from the public] was that the plan did not provide adequate references to resource protection and possible impacts [to] quality of life,” said Lee Catlin, the county's Community Relations manager.

The plan calls for objectives to be met in five areas ranging from improving the county’s business climate to promoting agriculture and tourism.

Dawn Story speaks during the public hearing
According to staff, the plan has been revised to address issues of resource protection, the importance of jobs for current county residents, a measure of rural economy, and refocuses on nurturing existing enterprises as opposed to a primary focus on attracting new businesses into the community.

“All this is, is a plan for us to promote economic vitality in our community,” Supervisor Ken Boyd said. “It’s an important issue that needs to take front and center, and I think we’re through studying this. Let’s start moving forward with some of this action plan.”

Rich Collins, a member of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP), criticized the plan and said it was “nothing but a growth plan.”

“It’s [not intended as] an idea to increase population in town. It’s really to provide jobs for our people,” Boyd responded.

Boyd also insisted that it would not negatively impact the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

“This is not some perfect document that we’re going to set that’s going to identify every single angle in the community,” Boyd said. “We’re still bound by the Comprehensive Plan no matter what we put in this document.”

The Board of Supervisors now anticipates a final vote on the action plan to occur at their August 4, 2010 meeting. That meeting will not include further public input opportunities on the plan.


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