COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Pantops Community Advisory Council Update
Update on Activities of the Pantops Community Advisory Council
Messrs. Tucker, Foley and Davis; and Ms. Catlin, Ms. Ragsdale and Ms. Miller
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
September 2, 2009
ACTION: INFORMATION: X
The Board of Supervisors created the Pantops Community Advisory Council (PCAC) in June of 2007 and appointed 11 members in anticipation of a fall approval of the Pantops Master Plan. At the public hearing on the proposed plan held on September 12, 2007, the Board directed staff to further study and evaluate several community issues. The Pantops Master Plan was adopted on March 12, 2008, officially beginning the duties of the Pantops Community Advisory Council. An additional three members were appointed between May and July of 2008. In accordance with the Pantops Master Plan, the PCAC is charged with the following duties:
The Pantops Community Advisory Council (PCAC) is an advisory committee that provides assistance to County staff and the Board of Supervisors on civic/community issues related to implementation of the Pantops Master Plan in accordance with established county procedures. Members will communicate with their constituencies to increase understanding of and support for successful implementation of the Master Plan. The membership is broad-based to incorporate a variety of perspectives and ideas and to provide citizens, businesspersons and representatives of active community groups a chance to be engaged and be heard in a constructive and meaningful way.
As outlined in the PCAC guidelines, the group is to provide periodic reports to the Board of Supervisors on the status of the Master Plan implementation and PCAC activities in the County, with those reports consisting of updates of the PCAC’s progress on identified action items and on community issues related to the Master Plan implementation. This update is the first such periodic report.
Strategic Objective 4.1 – BY June 30, 2010, increase citizen satisfaction with the County’s Development Areas by completing Master Plans for all of the County’s Development Areas
The PCAC has been meeting monthly since its initial orientation session in June of 2008. The first several meetings consisted of education and familiarization with County policies and processes, and orientation of PCAC members to Albemarle County’s planning and development philosophies. Following the orientation sessions, the PCAC spent several meetings learning about the projects on the Master Plan implementation list; including the priorities, funding and projected timelines for the projects. Additionally, with Pantops area transportation/traffic issues as one of its major concerns, the PCAC has worked with County staff to learn about the ways in which transportation projects are prioritized and funded.
Short-Term Implementation Projects
The PCAC has sought information about short-term Master Plan implementation projects that will address some of the community challenges brought about by the heavy traffic in the area and the difficulty of pedestrian crossings along 250. Plans are underway for new sidewalks from Westminster-Canterbury to Rolkin Road and along State Farm
Boulevard from 250 to S. Pantops Drive and along S. Pantops Drive to an existing sidewalk. Crosswalk studies for two major intersections, Rolkin Road and Highway 250 (the entrance to the Rivanna Ridge Shopping Center) and Highways 20 and 250, are listed as priorities in the Master Plan with funding already allocated. Work is continuing on a trail system to connect the Pantops community to Darden Towe Park, with a major trail section being donated by State Farm earlier this year. The PCAC fully supports these projects as critical to improving the safety and quality-of-life for residents, employees and visitors to the area, and bringing the Neighborhood Model principles to life on Pantops.
Work Product: PCAC Community-Led Initiatives
Based on the major themes in the Pantops Master Plan Implementation Table, the PCAC worked with County staff to develop and prioritize a list of community-led initiatives under the categories below. These categories address items that the community can spearhead and move forward—other major issues such as roads and other capital projects are not included here. These priority categories will provide the focus for the PCAC’s work over the next year:
1. Neighborhood Communications
2. Sidewalks and Pedestrian Connections
3. Parks and Open Space/Greenways
4. Rideshare, Carpooling, Park & Ride, Transit and Bicycling
Product: Discussions with Chamber to Create Pantops Business Group
Supervisor Ken Boyd and PCAC member Peggy Echols held a lunch meeting for business leaders in the Pantops area, with the goal of working with the Chamber of Commerce to develop a Pantops Business Group. Discussions with the Chamber are in progress, with strong support from Pantops businesses.
Work Product: PCAC Community Open House 5-18-09
As part of its role to communicate with their constituencies to increase understanding of and support for successful implementation of the Master Plan, the PCAC planned and hosted a community open house to accomplish the following goals:
· Start to create a sense of community in the Pantops area;
· Introduce the community to the PCAC;
· Solicit feedback from residents and businesses on the PCAC’s initiatives and learn about other concerns; and
· Update the community on the Pantops Master Plan and provide time for people to ask questions about the Plan.
Concern for Traffic on Pantops
Please note that the exclusion of transportation/traffic in the list of community-led initiatives is not meant to imply that the PCAC sees these issues as unimportant. To the contrary, the PCAC sees traffic as one of the most critical issues facing Pantops now and in the future, and of the highest concern to those who live, work and play in the area. Although the PCAC recognizes that there is currently no funding for major transportation projects in the area, as the Board-appointed advisory council, it feels that it would be remiss in its responsibilities to the Board and to the community if it did not keep this issue at the forefront.
Support for Pantops Fire-Rescue
PCAC members have expressed their concerns and the concerns of their neighbors about the ability of fire-rescue and ambulance service to reach Pantops residents in a timely manner, particularly during peak traffic times. The PCAC appreciates the Board’s continued support for the construction of the Pantops Fire-Rescue station as a critical community facility for the development area.
Over the next year, the PCAC will be working to identify a few key initiatives to move forward and bring about community involvement in those initiatives. The PCAC will also continue to reach out to the residents and businesses in Pantops and work to build a sense of community and connection in the area.
There are no budget impacts.
This item is for information only.
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