The Cville Plans Together community comment period closed at midnight June 13. At around 9:30 the next morning, Cville Plans Together shared some numbers via Twitter:
“Thank you for submitting your comments on the draft Comprehensive Plan chapters and draft Future Land use Map,” read the tweet. “We received and have begun the process of reviewing: Approx. 1,300 emails; 943 comments on the interactive map; 402 feedback form responses; 37 voicemails.”
(That totals nearly 2,700 comments this time around, though it’s not likely that each individual comment represents one person, as some folks have co-signed letters and others have submitted multiple comments and questions.)
The team also kept tabs on Twitter and other social media comments but encouraged folks to submit formal comments and questions via the aforementioned methods.
Wait…what are we talking about? Check out our Cville Plans Together explainer.
The email number is approximate because, at this time, several emails and letters have likely been counted more than once, said project manager Jennifer Koch, a senior associate at the urban planning firm Rhodeside & Harwell Inc. (RHI), hired by the city in 2019 to assist with the Comprehensive Plan update.
“Most of the council, Planning Commission, staff and the Steering Committee forwarded us [the consultants at RHI] emails that came in to them, and these were often the same or similar to emails that people sent directly to the consultant team inbox,” said Koch. “We are marking duplicates as we go through and will do our best to not ‘count’ the same comment more than once, when it is sent by the same person.”
Koch added that Cville Plans Together received “many more emails” during this most recent community comment period, which ran from May 3 (when the most recent draft of the Future Land Use Map was released) to June 13, than in previous phases.
“We have been reading through all comments and categorizing them with different themes,” Koch said. “For example, for the FLUM [Future Land Use Map] comments, keeping track of how often and where people said they’d prefer to see more or less intensity of uses, or different types of uses.”
“At a minimum, we will be sharing a draft, high-level summary [of these comments] for the meeting on the 29th. I expect a more detailed summary will follow,” she added.
The FLUM process, and the Comprehensive Plan update process as a whole, is not done. There are more steps that Cville Plans Together and the Planning Commission must take before finalizing a Future Land Use Map, and many more steps before the Comprehensive Plan update can even be put up for an approval vote within the Planning Commission (and later, the City Council). And yes, residents can still offer feedback going forward.
We know you’ve got questions (likely these questions) about next steps.
What are the immediate next steps?
On Tuesday, June 29, 2021, the Charlottesville Planning Commission will hold an online public work session with Cville Plans Together.
Can I read the comments?
A draft summary of the community comments, grouped into key themes, will be included in the June 29 work session meeting materials. Those materials will be posted to the City’s website one week before the session, on June 22. (After that date, you can review those materials here.)
What will happen during that work session?
- Cville Plans Together will present a draft summary of community comments to the Planning Commission (a more detailed summary will follow at a later date)
- Cville Plans Together and the Planning Commission will discuss the comments and collaboratively discuss potential ways to address the comments;
- The Planning Commission will have an opportunity to offer input on the seven draft chapters of the Comprehensive Plan, as well as the draft Future Land Use Map (remember, the draft FLUM is one part of one chapter of the Comprehensive Plan)
What will not happen during that work session?
- A vote to approve any proposed part of the Comprehensive Plan.
- A decision to approve any proposed part of the Comprehensive Plan.
- A presentation of a new (third) draft of the Future Land Use Map.
When will Cville Plans Together share another draft of the Future Land Use Map?
At the moment, there is no date or deadline for the next FLUM draft. Previous drafts were revealed in March and May of this year, and a new draft FLUM will not be created prior to the June 29 work session.
The Cville Plans Together FAQ page offers more detailed information about next steps, how the proposed Future Land Use Map differs from the current one, other parts of the Comprehensive Plan that affect housing affordability, and so on.
The June 29 work session will give both the Planning Commission and RHI a better sense of the work that remains to be done on the FLUM as well as other aspects of other Comprehensive Plan chapter drafts. After the session, they’ll notify the public of future deadlines for revisions and, later, a date for a vote/approval by the Planning Commission.
Register for the session here.