County seeks public input at upcoming meeting

Published 1:24 pm Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors will have a public hearing on Monday, June 22, regarding the adoption of the comprehensive plan. The hearing, which will take place as part of the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, begins at 7 p.m. at the County Administrative Building on 26022 Administration Center Drive, Courtland.

In accordance with state law, each locality in Virginia is required to review and amend its comprehensive plan at least once every five years. Southampton County last adopted a comprehensive plan on March 26, 2007, and the planning commission began to review said plan in early 2012.

The comprehensive plan serves as a decision-making tool for the board of supervisors and planning commission, covering topics such as land use, economic development, natural resources, parks and recreation, historic preservation and transportation.

In order to best serve the people of Southampton County, the planning commission held several public forums in towns throughout Western Tidewater. In November, residents in Capron and Courtland were afforded the opportunity to give their input, while those in Boykins and Ivor were provided the same courtesy in January.

The plan was discussed and recommended to the board of supervisors after a public hearing held by the planning commission at its March meeting.

Southampton County adopted the first revisions to the comprehensive plan on Aug. 23, 1989, following two years of extensive study and research. Instead of changing the policy already in place, the amendment to the plan offered suggestions on how to deal with the natural progression of the county, as well as its subsequent benefits for the residents.

With no way to anticipate long-term development in the county, the plan would have to be periodically reviewed in accordance with state law.

The plan was revised in 1995, updating the census and socioeconomic data, and again in 1999, as the county positioned itself for the new millennium.

The most recent adaptation of the plan was adopted in 2007, as the county commissioned the addition of background chapters, growth management goals and subsequent implementation strategies. The county also developed new rural residential zoning districts, instituted a voluntary cash proffer system and completed a variety of other land use related initiatives.

For more information about the Southampton County Comprehensive plan, or if you plan to attend the public hearing and have any special needs requirements, contact County Administrator Michael W. Johnson at 653-3015.