WARSAW PLANNING COMMISSION
78 Belle Ville Lane
June 2, 2016
The June meeting of the Warsaw Planning Commission was called to order on June 2, 2016 at 6:55 pm by Chairman Gary Palmore. In attendance were Councilman and Planning Commission Vice-Chair Dr. William Washington, IV and Commissioners Mary Beth Bryant, Harold W. Donovan, Faron H. Hamblin, Jonathan B. English, and Barbara Jean LeFon. Planning Commissioner Designate Aerial Walker and Planning Commission Acting Secretary Lee Hood Capps were also in attendance.
From the media, Shannon Walters, editor, Northern Neck News attended.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, a discussion and approval of the May minutes was addressed.
Harold Donovan moved to accept the minutes of the May 12, 2016 Warsaw Planning Commission
Acting Planning Director and Planning Commission Secretary sought clarification and verification of Planning Commission members on the assignments and schedule of ‘discussion leaders’ of the Comprehensive Plan Summer Review. Future assignments were advanced to new business.
Chairman Gary Palmore deferred to Lee Capps, Interim Town Manager & Planner to introduce and guide the discussions of the 2013 Comprehensive Plan, Areas 1 and 2 (listed on the agenda as Area A and Area B respectively). Capps noted the importance of the Comprehensive Plan for establishing an active present and future vision for Warsaw. Commissioner Washington noted that he was the single member of the current Planning Commission that served on the Commission during the development and passage of the Comprehensive (aka Comp) Plan. Capps further discussed the value and importance of a pro-active Planning Commission and dynamic Comp Plan to guide the decision making of Council as well as to assure town residents and those inquiring to invest in the town of intended future directions for land use and development in Warsaw.
A lively discussed pursued with an initial focus on Area 1 lead jointly by Commissioners Lefon and Hamblin. With the preponderance of Industrial Zone property in Area I and the upcoming auction of the former Levis Strauss Manufacturing Building a review of the types of manufacturing / value added companies which Warsaw holds a competitive advantage was discussed. The constraints created by distance to the interstate system and the level and reliability of ultra-high speed internet were also identified as area capacity and infrastructure concerns.
Several Commissioners emphasized that our Area 1, the most eastern area of Warsaw is a diverse area that is projected to remain diverse as additional development occurs.
Discussion on ‘Area 2’ was opened by Commissioner Hamblin. This area includes “Main Street” area and the historical downtown area, including ‘the Bottom and Courthouse Circle’. Creative approaches of ‘thinking outside the box’ with innovative public/private partnering constituted much of the discussion and exchange of ideas. Identifying ‘peer’ communities with vibrant economies was suggested. As well, identifying niche areas of competitive advantage for magnetic attractions was voiced. Creating incentives for building facelift, rent abatement, festival hosting were among the ideas which were offered for the consultants to address. Additionally the Planning Commission request the consultants to be a part of the Commission’s August 4 meeting. (Actual details and agenda to be development).
PLANNING & ZONING STAFF REPORT;
Given the level of staff participation in the discussions during the Area 1 and Area 2 presentations, not additional report given.
COMMISSIONERS COMMENTS / REQUEST:
- Commissioner English – Town of Warsaw - Web presence and updates
- Commissioner Donovan - Neighborhood identifications
- Commissioner Hamblin – Festivals, Main Street Movie Night(s), Brainstorming with property owners and existing business owners
- Commissioner Washington - Noted this is his last Planning Commission meeting as the Town Council liaison – Cheered for the ‘Good Energy’ of can do spirit among the Commissioners, pushed for continued ‘thinking outside the box’, pushed for enhanced ‘Wi-Fi’ commitments, perhaps ‘contract service’ providers for social media content, consider ‘mob shopping’ for businesses, create dynamic branding / image for W
- Commissioner LeFon – Re-emphasize Web presence for Calendar of Events, Invitation for visitors and investors to Warsaw. Note the visual transformation of Montross as opportunity and challenge for Warsaw.
- Commissioner Bryant – Keep emphasis in creative ways on the historical contributions of Warsaw residents and structures (e.g. Sept 24 – Celebration of 1916 passage of the Jones Act which established independence for the Philippine Islands….which Richmond Co. Museum ‘fundraiser’ hosted in the former Congressmen’s home on Richmond Rd.
- Commission Chair Palmore – Thanked the Commissioners for the open, useful and forward thinking review of Areas 1 and 2. Confirmed that the July meeting would feature new member Auriel Walker leading the discussion on Area 3 with all being prepared. Area 4 will be co-lead by Jonathan English and the Chair, again with all being prepared to critique the existing 2013 Comp Plan.
With there being no further Planning Commission business, Chairman Palmore adjourned the meeting.
Lee Hood Capps, Acting Planning Director