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BY JEFF BRANSCOME
A politically charged vision statement for a Spotsylvania County development plan appears here to stay, despite continued objections from one public official.
"I get the unanimous sense that there's not a desire to continue to kick the proverbial dead horse," Planning Commission Chairman Robert Stuber said at a meeting Wednesday night.
He was responding to a request from Planning Commission member Cristine Lynch to reconsider the vision statement, essentially just a preamble to the county's Comprehensive Plan--a blueprint for future growth.
It was the second meeting in a row that Lynch has asked to revisit the new statement, which pledges that Spotsylvania will build on the "principles of our founding fathers to provide freedom and prosperity through limited government, low taxes and pro-business policies for the 21st century."
Lynch says she's concerned that the vision statement approved by the Planning Commission last month doesn't mention quality of life as the previous one did. The former statement read: "Spotsylvania County will be a leading Virginia community in quality of living and a leader in the region in sustained economic development."
Stuber did tell Lynch that she's welcome to draft a proposal, and, "We'll talk about it next time."
But he also said, "The matter is by and large closed."
No other Planning Commission members spoke during the exchange between Lynch and Stuber--a former leader of the county GOP who helped craft the vision statement. Lynch is the former chair of the Committee of 500, an organization that promotes "smart growth" and has clashed with the Spotsylvania Republican Committee in the past.
Lynch had suggested that she meet with another planning commissioner between now and the next meeting to come up with a compromise. Nobody volunteered to meet with her.
Spotsylvania's Comprehensive Plan is approved every five years and addresses land-use issues, public facilities, transportation, and natural and historic resources. The state mandates the plans to "best promote the health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare" of residents.
Stuber noted that the vision statement is still a draft because the entire Comprehensive Plan has yet to be approved. The Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors must both approve the statement after public hearings, which will take place some time next year.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402