Saturday, October 18, 2008

ShenCo CPP Narrowing Down the Forward Focus

The Community Planning Project of Shenandoah County is halfway through it's series of public forums to get an idea of what ShenCo citizens want as they create a vision for the future of the county.

The apparent factor the group is looking at is the definition of "rural" vs. "non-rural" and which direction the county should take, at least for the next decade or so. According to the Shenandoah Valley-Herald article cited above, it seems most people want to keep a rural focus for the next 5-20 years, depending on who you spoke with.

Shenandoah County is a very rural area that is experiencing a burst of residential and commercial growth along the I-81 corridor, as new subdivisions are either in the proposed or newly-built stage from Strasburg, through Toms Brook and even Maurertown, down through Woodstock and Edinburg. The southern end of the county, anchored by the towns of Mount Jackson and New Market, are experiencing the least amount of real growth, mainly due to their close proximity to Woodstock, Harrisonburg, and Luray...they don't have the need for the growth.

However, there are no towns of real distinction outside of the I-81 corridor through the county. Some may consider Basye, but that is only significant because of Bryce Resort. The rest of the county is very, very rural and is populated by a lot of farmland. Hence, the focus should be on preserving the rural farmland while keeping the growth along the I-81 corridor moving forward, in my opinion. There is still plenty of undeveloped land along the corridor as not to threaten to overtake the farmland that makes up the bulk of Shenandoah County's value, in an industrial sense, to the state.

I don't think the concerns about property rights or higher taxes are necessary right now, as they are not an issue that Shenandoah County residents have to worry about for the time being.


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