Ideas are sought on economic strategy
Posted: January 30, 2013
The Winchester Star
BERRYVILLE — The Clarke County Planning Commission has scheduled a public meeting on Feb. 13 at the Joint Government Center to discuss the locality’s economic strengths and weaknesses.
At the group’s monthly work session Tuesday, Planning Director Brandon Stidham said the meeting will be led by Milton Herd — president of Herd Planning and Design in Purcellville — who has been hired to help craft an economic development strategy as part of Clarke’s Comprehensive Plan.
“We hope to get some ideas flowing,” Stidham said.
The Planning Commission has invited members of the county’s Economic Development Advisory Commission, the Industrial Development Authority and the Berryville Area Development Authority to join in the session.
The commissioners began updating the Comprehensive Plan last fall.
Already the group has agreed that some new elements should be added, such as a transportation section, a section on recreation and a plan to help the villages of Millwood, White Post and Pine Grove improve their economies.
After the general section on goals and objectives is complete, the Economic Development section will be the next priority, Stidham said.
The doors for the meeting will open at 6 p.m., and Herd will speak to the gathering about the goals at 7, Stidham said. Anyone who cannot stay for the entire meeting can take an analysis sheet and offer input by turning it in later.
At its monthly meeting Friday, the Planning Commission expects to take a vote on a request for a conditional zoning permit to allow a convenience store, with gasoline sales, to replace the 340 Cigarette Outlet on U.S. 340 north of Berryville.
Owner Mahlon Jones has purchased extra land to move the structure farther to the rear of the lot and put in a new deceleration lane as an entrance to the facility.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has said the present building, close to the two northbound lanes of the highway and at the top of a blind hill, is a traffic hazard and that the new construction would improve safety there.
Although zoned agricultural, the site has been used for retail sales for more than 40 years.
Attending the meeting were Chairman George Ohrstrom and commissioners Robina Bouffault, Anne Caldwell, Scott Kreider, Jon Turkel, Tom McFillen, Clay Brumback and Cliff Nelson, and Supervisor John Staelin.
— Contact Val Van Meter at firstname.lastname@example.org