COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Proposed Urban Areas Communications Plan

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Input from the Board on the Proposed Communications Plan to address Strategic Plan Objective: 3.3.1

By June 2005, the County will have an active program which promotes the visibility and viability of the County's urban areas as distinct and attractive living and working environments.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Catlin

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

March 2, 2005

 

ACTION:     X                    INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                         INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:     Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

As part of the Strategic Plan Direction titled “Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Citizens”, the Board established a goal related to urbanization issues - Develop and implement policies that address the county's growth and urbanization while continuing to enhance the factors that contribute to the quality of life in the county. 

One objective under that goal deals with public education, communication and outreach efforts associated with the County’s urbanization efforts - By June 2005, the County will have an active program which promotes the visibility and viability of the County's urban areas as distinct and attractive living and working environments.  This discussion will be a status report on activities related to that objective.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Objective: 3.3.1 - By June 2005, the County will have an active program which promotes the visibility and viability of the County's urban areas as distinct and attractive living and working environments.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

In establishing this objective as part of the urbanization goal, staff and the Board of Supervisors recognized the importance of communicating effectively with the public regarding the County’s transition to a more urbanizing locality.  The adoption of the Neighborhood Model, initiation of the neighborhood master planning process, revisions to the subdivision ordinance, and other major policy initiatives are modifying the County’s approach to its urban areas and creating significant impacts to urban area residents and, in fact, all residents of the County.  In order to inform residents of the philosophy motivating these changes, and the ultimate positive benefits they will bring to our entire community, including the rural areas, a proactive, comprehensive communication and outreach program is necessary.

 

In assessing the community relations aspect of our increasing focus on urbanization, there are several challenges that need to be considered and addressed as a communications strategy is developed:

 

 

Continuing with the status quo approach to communicating our urbanization priorities and goals will not significantly address these challenges.  There is a range of more proactive, aggressive outreach strategies that could be incorporated into a  communication plan that supports the goal of building public acceptance, understanding and support for urban area  policies, projects and funding needs.

 

Components of a comprehensive communication plan would include:

 

Target audiences – although all citizens of Albemarle County need to be well-informed about our progress regarding urbanization, there are specific groups that are more immediately and substantially impacted and that should receive a more intensive communication effort.  Potential target audiences are identified in the attached Communications Plan

 

Informational messages -  a communication plan would identify what information is critical for each target audience to understand. Potential messages are outlined briefly in the attached Communication Plan.

 

Tactics – there are specific methods by which we would disseminate information to our target audiences, obviously a wide range of possibilities exists depending on what level the Board feels is appropriate for achieving the strategic plan objective.  Potential tactics are described in the attached Communication Plan.

 

Once these elements are determined, timelines and resource requirements can be developed.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff requests the Board’s input and comment on the proposed Public Information Program/Communications Plan related to the County’s urbanization efforts. 

 

 

ATTACHMENT:

A – Proposed Communications Plan

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