The Town Council conducted a public hearing on the final draft of the comprehensive plan amendment on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at the Town Office and subsequently voted on February 9, 2017 to adopt the final version of the amendment to the plan:
For more information on the 2015-16 review process or the final 2017 comprehensive plan amendment, contact:
Joshua A. Bateman, AICP, Planning Director & Zoning Administrator
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|Background on the Plan
The Comprehensive Plan is a document created by each jurisdiction that is developed with the help of one or more citizen advisory committees along with public input and a recommendation from the Planning Commission to the legislative body, in this case the Town Council. The document contains the Town’s vision, goals, objectives and policies regarding land use, natural and cultural resources protection, public facilities, transportation and other public infrastructure (sewer and water), economic development and housing. The Comprehensive Plan reflects a long-range vision. The policies of the Comprehensive Plan serve to guide the development process and do not constitute requirements as do zoning ordinance regulations, for example. The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all of its jurisdictions to review their Comprehensive Plans every five years.
The Town Council appointed a Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) to work with Town staff to review the previous Comprehensive Plan and develop any amendments that were appropriate. The CPAC consisted of all the Planning Commissioners, the Mayor, a member of the Town Council and members who represented historical resources advocates, the Lovettsville Business Association, Town business people, along with residents from the newer and older neighborhoods in Town. The CPAC made its recommendations for amending the Plan after monthly meetings to review and discuss planning issues. The recommendations were the subject of public hearings before the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission made some modifications and then recommended the Plan to the Town Council for Approval. The Town Council approved the 2011 Comprehensive Plan on February 24, 2011.
Town Square Master Plan
The Town began undertaking a study and plan for the Lovettsville Town Square Planning Area in early 2017 in accordance with the policies of the Comprehensive Plan (amended in 2017). The purpose of the plan was to create short-, medium- and long-term planning recommendations and an Overall (Illustrative) Concept Plan for the center of town based on an analysis of this area as a whole, including pedestrian and vehicle routes through Lovettsville's "Squirkle" and potential improvements to the Town Square Park to improve its functional relationship to future uses of land surrounding it (including Lovettsville Town Center, or LTC, Phases 2 and 3). Public participation in this planning process was achieved by distribution of a public opinion survey to Town residents in November of 2017; the survey was also available online for participation by all interested citizens. The survey form and results of the survey can be access by clicking on the links below:
The Town used the results of the survey to establish its preferred Overall Concept Plan containing the following elements:
- A combination of development scenarios featuring Option 2A (for the Lovettsville Town Center Phase 2 Area) and Option 3A (for the Lovettsville Town Center Phase 3 Area). Option 3A was the most popular of the three scenarios (39% favored it), which differed from Option 1 only in terms of proposing a smaller-footprint, retail building on LTC Phase 3. Option 2A was preferred by the Town for LTC Phase 2 because it was most in keeping with the "new downtown" concept the Lovettsville Town Center project was originally intended (and designed) to represent; it also locates the new commercial buildings farthest from existing residences. This preferred concept features no drive-thru facility for either area in accordance with the public's wishes;
- With respect to the Town Square Park, the Town implemented the public''s preferred approach that "less is more" with respect to adding amenities to the park. Only outdoor seating and a performance area/shade structure achieved more than 50% support from respondents.
- The plan recommends eliminating the two"free rights" where the Town Square meets North and South Berlin Pike. These are the dedicated right-turn ramps that allow north- and south-bound traffic to yield only (not stop) while traveling on Route 287 through the northwest and southeast corners of the "Squirkle." The purpose of this recommendation is to further slow traffic on Route 287, making it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to navigate these areas.
The Overall Concept Plan and Town Square Master Plan Report are available by clicking on the links in the right sidebar (COMING SOON). By establishing its preferred "master plan" for the Lovettsville Town Center and Town Square areas, the Town of Lovettsville hopes to ensure that any future plans submitted by property owners/developers for site development in the center of town substantially conforms to the goals and recommendations of the Town Square Master Plan.