- Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 00:00
- Hits: 601
Misicka takes the helm, joined by Holt as vice chairwoman
Colonial Beach is on the cusp of change. The Planning Commission, with its six appointed members, is tasked with taking the lead on land use issues that shape the future of the town. Leading the commission in 2011 will be newly elected chairwoman Cynthia Misicka and newly elected vice chairwoman Maureen Holt.
Misicka is the first woman to be elected chairperson of the commission. She brings to that position 20 years experience as a federal civil rights attorney and an experienced eye for detail. Misicka was appointed to the commission in January 2009 after becoming a full-time resident of the beach in 2007. As with many town residents, Misicka “instantly fell in love” with the town and relocated here from Falls Church. She has been able to continue her career part-time by way of telecommuting.
As to the significance of the commission electing two women as chair and vice chair, Misicka commented, “Although I believe women and men are more similar than they are different, it is an occasion to celebrate given the historic exclusion of women from government and positions of leadership and that women remain underrepresented in these roles.”
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 14:29
- Published on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 14:29
- Hits: 819
At a special meeting yesterday morning, Gary Mitchell, Director of Building and Zoning, presented the latest revision of proposed text amendment changes to Article 8, Commercial Limited C-1 District zoning that many believe adversely impacts businesses in town. There were approximately 25 business owners and citizens in the audience.
The zoning text amendment revisions began approximately three years ago in response to the proposed creation of a Maritime Commercial district on “The Point” south of Boundary Street that offered to provide appropriate locations for a variety of commercial activities related to water oriented issues. It offers a mix of residential and commercial uses that includes marinas, restaurants, single family dwellings and hotels and motels among other permitted uses. It includes front and rear yard setback regulations, height and screening regulations.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 14:46
- Published on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 14:46
- Hits: 371
Four topics dominated last week’s Colonial Beach Planning Commission meeting. These included: Article 30 and its recommendation to be forwarded to the council, a resent presentation to the council regarding zoning ordinance C-1 and newly created C-2 and Maritime Commercial District, and the introduction of a Unified Development Ordinance and a work plan for the Planning Commission.
Article 30 of the Colonial Beach zoning ordinance was created to set basic developmental standards and guidelines within each zoning district and is designed to promote public health, safety and welfare as well as environmental protection of our water, air and land.
Article 30 ensures all new construction not only conforms to Chesapeake Bay Act regulations, but that roads and drainage are built to VDOT standards before dwellings can be occupied.
Several items address aesthetics that conform to the new Comprehensive Plan such as screening heating and air conditioning units from public view and placement of decorative street lamps and underground utilities.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 05:00
- Hits: 543
During a recent Planning Commission meeting to approve the Comprehensive Plan, Colonial Beach Vice Mayor Trish King expressed a desire to see the Comprehensive Plan remain in the forefront of everyone’s mind.
At last week’s Planning Commission Meeting on Jan. 7, before the new Comprehensive Plan has even been approved at the council level, Planning Director Gary Mitchell and the commission have already begun revamping subdivision zoning ordinances to conform to new standards set in the new Comprehensive Plan.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 05:00
- Hits: 616
On July 23, the Planning Commission met to discuss the last chapter, chapter 5, in the town’s Comprehensive Plan with Carol Rizzio and Bill Spivey of Land studio.
Comprehensive planning is a way of making a town or city more attractive as well as functional.
Although nothing is set in stone, the idea is to transition the town to attract visitors, but keep residential areas separate enough to allow peaceful living for residents while the hub of the town entertains visitors.
The Community Vision Statement adopted by the Planning Commission gives a general overview of what the Colonial Beach Planning Commission is trying to achieve by implementing the Comprehensive Plan.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 April 2009 21:10
- Published on Wednesday, 08 April 2009 21:10
- Hits: 619
On March 31, 2009, the Colonial Beach Planning Commission held its April meeting at the Town Center. They began promptly with all Planning Commissioners present with the exception of Desiree Urquhart.
The first item of business was not contained on the agenda, but was the direct result of an action taken by the Town Council during their March work session held on March 26th, the passing of a resolution calling for the “Reorganization of the Building and Zoning Department”. The item of business the Chair of the Planning Commission was attending to was introducing Val Foulds, the Town Manager, as the Interim Building and Zoning Administrator to replace former Building and Zoning Administrator Chuck Bird, who recently resigned.
The Resolution that Council passed, Agenda Item #24-09, contains language concerning the absence of the Building and Zoning Administrator and the Town's need to hire someone for that position, but it also touches upon the need to “ensure that an effective system of operation, as well as appropriate checks and balances, is implemented in the areas of building and zoning”.
It goes on to charge the Town Manager with the responsibility of identifying “the primary functions of the Building and Zoning Department and to develop one or more proposals or options for the reorganization of the Colonial Beach Building and Zoning Department”.
As a part of the proposals that were the submitted is “a mechanism for checks and balances be included so as to best ensure the fair and consistent application of the Town's ordinances to all citizens”.
The Chairman went on to point out that the Town Council had “suspended the rules” to approve this resolution. The rule that was suspended was the one about voting at work sessions. Generally, it just isn't done. So how important is it to undertake this review of the department? This is a fair question when the next item on the agenda, which involved Maritime Commercial, stems from a Planning Commission action a year old that sat forgotten and un-adressed by Council.
The Chair continued, “Basically what we're saying is that we need to take a look at the operations in that department and come to some decision as to what if anything needs to be changed, looked at etc...”
Coombes told the Planning Commission that the Town Manager would have the support of the Town Attorney and the County's building inspectors. “Unless we have some kind of serious situation that needs to be addressed, we will probably not be in full gear. We will do the things we have to do but don't expect long lengthy meetings”.
Planning Commission member Kent Rodeheaver asked, “Is there anything that tells us there could be a problem?”
Chairman Coombes answered, “We want to look at the whole thing thoroughly in terms of how it has been operating. That's not to imply that there is anything wrong. There may be. But we want to find out. Val will head that operation. We do not want to go ahead and hire somebody until we know that that person is coming into a slick moving operation without any baggage. Let's put it that way.”
After a few more comments from members, the Chairman brought the subject to conclusion saying, in reference to the “depth of experience and depth of education” of the individual that will be hired to fill that spot, “Particularly with the Chesapeake Bay Act putting on a lot of requirements. There are a lot of people that can get unhappy. We just need to examine how we're doing business as it relates to the public. We need to make sure that the public has confidence in the decisions coming out that office.”
Rodeheaver added, “We need somebody who treats everybody the same.”
“I know that”, answered the Chair.