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                                                   The Region is

                                                        My Backyard
                           and towers                   The newsletter of the Richmond Regional Planning District
                                                         Commission, including the Town of Ashland, the Counties
                                                        of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico,
                                                              New Kent, Powhatan and the City of Richmond.

                                                                                      Look Inside For Articles On:
                                                  What’s Happening ............................. 2           Priority Transportation Projects ........ 6
                                                  Legislatively Speaking ....................... 3           Where Are They Now? ...................... 7
                                                  Coastal Program.................................. 4        LRTP Executive Summary ................... 7
    From fields...                                Air Quality .......................................... 5   Giving Back to the Community .......... 8


                               Charles City County Emergency Assistance


B
          ack in June, Richmond Regional PDC staff was asked                                                                          Winter 2004
          to tackle a new project: assist Charles City County              this information. The project will include use of the GIS data
          in developing a map book using GIS data which could              in the Emergency Center of Charles City County for the
be utilized by personnel (police, fire and rescue squads) during           emergency dispatch section to be used for directional
emergency calls.                                                                              information during E-911 calls.

Since then, RRPDC staff members have                                                                     To complete the project, a map book will
been meeting with county staff on a weekly                                                               be generated consisting of the county’s 85
basis, verifying the accuracy of the data,                                                               tax grids. Some of the grids will be further
so that several databases—including houses,                                                              split to show those areas containing a large
building, parcels and roads could be updated.                                                            amount of data with more detail. An example
                                                                                                         of a grid (grid 7a from tax grid section 7)
Jason Pruitt, a second-year student in                                                                   which has been subdivided out is shown(left).
VCU’s Masters in Urban Planning
program, was hired by Charles City County                                                   Furthermore, the project will eventually
as an intern to work at the RRPDC                                                           evolve into a greater undertaking. Charles
reviewing the parcel and housing/building                                                   City County’s Department of Public Works
data. The data collection, in addition to                                                   would like to add an additional layer of data
being matched to the current tax                                                            at some point, emphasizing public utility
assessment data, is to be used primarily for                                                structures such as manholes and fire
planning and for making maps.                                                               hydrants. Moreover, the county’s planning
                                                                                            department views this as an added tool for
But this information has an additional place of importance—it              reviewing and updating their comprehensive plan.
will also be found on maps that, once completed, will make up
an E-911 map book based on the current tax grid mapping                    For additional information on the project, contact
system. The map book will be placed in each emergency                      Michelle Fults at the RRPDC or by e-mail at
vehicle and will be given to any county personnel who requests             mfults@richmondregional.org.
                                       Richmond Regional Planning District Commission
                                             2104 West Laburnum Avenue, Suite 101
                                                   Richmond, Virginia 23227
                                          tel: (804) 367-6001 –– fax: (804) 367-4375
                                                  www.richmondregional.org
                 What’s Happening in Our Capital Region?

                     Our Mission

The Richmond Regional Planning District Commission,                                               Paul Fisher Appointed
as well as the Richmond Area Metropolitan Planning                                                to Chesapeake Bay
Organization each adopted new mission statements                                                  Committee
earlier this fall to reflect the changing times. The PDC
mission statement was unanimously modified to read:                    Paul E. Fisher, the Richmond Regional PDC’s
                                                                       Executive Director, has recently been appointed by
“To strengthen the quality of life throughout the                      Governor Warner to the Local Government Advisory
Richmond region by serving as a regional forum of                      Committee (LGAC).
member local governments to address issues of
regional significance, providing technical assistance                  LGAC is a committee comprised of officials from
to localities, and promoting and enhancing the                         Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington,
collective consensus on the economic, transportation,                  D.C. who have come together to improve
social, environmental, and demographic interests of                    communication between the states and localities in
the region.”                                                           order to develop strategies to clean the Bay through
                                                                       the Chesapeake Bay program.
The MPO’s new mission statement was unanimously
adopted as well at the recent meeting and reads:                       LGAC members include Russell Pettyjohn (Chair),
                                                                       Ted Pochter, Marilyn Praisner, Penelope Gross, Sheila
“To serve as the federal and state designated regional                 Besse, Donald DeVore, A. Carville Foster, Gerald
transportation planning organization that serves as                    Hyland, Margaret Keegan, Phyllis Kilby, Ellen Moyer,
the forum for cooperative transportation decision-                     Ann Simonetti, Charles Smithgall, James Wheeler,
making to assure excellence in mobility and safety                     Kenneth Wingo, Essie M. Lelezy, Kelly Porter and
within and through the Richmond region.”                               Robert C.Willey.


       Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

       Below is the general listing of meetings held at the Richmond Regional PDC office. Please be sure to visit the web site at
       www.richmondregional.org for any schedule changes.
                                Committee                                          Meeting Date                      Time
          Executive Committee                                             Second Thursday of every month           11:30 AM
          PDC Board                                                       Second Thursday of every month           1:00 PM
          MPO Board                                                       Second Thursday of every month           2:15 PM
          Technical Advisory Committee                                     Third Thursday of every month           8:45 AM
          Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee                       Fourth Tuesday of every month           11:45 AM
          Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee                      Third Wednesday of every other month        10:00 AM
          Metropolitan Medical Response System Steering                   Second Tuesday of every month            1:30 PM
          Committee
          Regional Emergency Medical Response Technical                 Fourth Tuesday of every other month         9:30 AM
          Advisory Committee
          Regional Environmental Technical Advisory Committee          Fourth Tuesday of every other month          9:30 AM


       Don’t forget: The RRPDC’s large conference room is available to our member jurisdictions
           and affiliates for meetings. It’s as simple as picking up the phone and calling us!
                              From fields and towers....The Region is My Backyard                                                   2
                    What’s Happening in Our Capital Region?
                                                               delivery platform. Local governments must be
                                                               guaranteed adequate and growing communications
                                                               services tax revenues in exchange for the local right
                                                               of entry and regulation, adequate local consumer
                                                               protection and services and efficient local public
                                                               safety answering point operations (E-911 call
                                                               centers).

                                                               Enterprise Zones: The sunset date for enterprise
Legislatively Speaking                                         zone authorization is July 1, 2005. Enterprise zones
                                                               are an effective tool for economic development and
                                                               revitalization.
The upcoming General Assembly session for 2005
should prove to be another eventful legislative session,       A Hearty Welcome to Lory Pendergraph!
as there are many issues on the PDC’s radar screen.
                                                               Lory F. Pendergraph is a new face at the
This year, the Richmond Regional PDC formally endorsed         Richmond Regional PDC. Lory was recently
a legislative policy addressing local land use authority: to   hired after graduating with a Master’s degree from
support the protection and enhancement of local land
use authority. This policy statement was shared with the
Capital Region Caucus, which is comprised of our region’s
legislators, at its December meeting. Additional legislative
issues of interest to local governments include:

    Transportation Funding: In order for the region to
    remain economically competitive, needed
    improvements to transportation are critical.

    PPTRA (Car Tax Reimbursement): Increased
    funding is needed, which would enable localities to
    receive their full reimbursements between January 1,       the University of Virginia’s Urban and
    2006 and June 30, 2006.                                    Environmental Planning graduate program. She
                                                               earned her B.A. in Political Science and
    Prompt reimbursement payments to localities which          Philosophy at Hollins University.
    will not cause revenue shortfall for local
    governments are also advocated.                            Lory has taken on the role of Associate Planner
                                                               in the Planning and Information Systems Division
    Telecommunications Tax Restructuring: Long-                where she will be responsible for community
    term financial interests of our localities must be         development, planning assistance, census
    supported, ensuring a modern telecommunications and        information, historic resources and emergency
    information services tax policy that treats                services data development.
    communications providers equitably, regardless of
The General Assembly lasts 46 days this year —a short session. It convened January 12 and will adjourn (sine
           die) on February 26, 2005. The reconvened session is scheduled for April 6, 2005.
                             From fields and towers....The Region is My Backyard                                       3
                          What’s Happening in Our Capital Region?
     Coastal Program
                                                                  During the afternoon, planning district commission staff visited
                                                                  new mixed-use residential development occurring in
                                                                  Onancock on the bay side on the Eastern Shore, and
                                                                  participated in a boat excursion on the seaside provided by
                                                                  the Shorekeeper. During the boat trip, the Shorekeeper
                                                                  and other Virginia Coastal Program staff provided information
                                                                  on current programs and new initiatives to continue bay clean
                                                                  up. For further information on any of these initiatives, contact
                                                                  Jacqueline Stewart at the RRPDC at 367-6001 or by e-mail
                                                                  at jstewart@richmondregional.org.


                                                                      Sarah Weisiger Joins the PDC Staff



     The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia
     Coastal Program and the Virginia Department of
     Conservation and Recreation provided a status of state
     agency program activities recently to the Richmond
     Regional PDC planning staff, as well as to other coastal
     planning district commissions.

                          The reports addressed the Virginia
There     are    eight
planning       district   Coastal Program, Chesapeake Bay
commissions       that    Preservation Program reviews and
comprise the coastal      merger issues, the Coastal Non-Point
region of Virginia.                                                   Sarah M. Weisiger is the newest member to the
                          Source grant program, House Bill            Richmond Regional PDC staff. Before arriving at
These PDCs meet           1177 related to storm water                 the RRPDC filling the position of senior planner, Sarah
together as a group
                          management and tributary strategy           was a planner in the James City County Planning
approximately four
times each year to        issues.                                     Division of the Department of Development
discuss state, regional                                               Management. She received her Bachelor’s degree
and local environ-
                       In addition, Richmond Regional PDC             in history from the UVA and a Master’s degree from
mental projects and
priorities.            staff provided updates on the recently         VCU in Urban and Regional Planning.
                       completed mapping for the Virginia
     Coastal Program including blueways and greenways,                Sarah will be responsible for community development
     development suitability, flood plains, impervious surface        planning, including zoning and subdivision ordinances,
     inventory, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and            comprehensive planning, rural transportation and
     Energy mapping project and the James River                       environmental program planning.
     interpretative maps.

         The region’s planning directors met in November to discuss affordable housing, redevelopment efforts,
                          land use regulations and the annual planning commissioner’s forum.
                                  From fields and towers....The Region is My Backyard                                           4
                                              Getting There...
Richmond Region Addresses Air Quality                          measures (i.e., projects, programs, and control
                                                               measures) to reduce harmful emissions to an acceptable
                                                               level. This plan is known as the State Implementation
                                                               Plan (SIP).

                                                               The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
                                                               (VDEQ) will serve as lead staff for the LPO and will
                                                               be assisted by staff from the RRPDC, Crater PDC,
                                                                               (Continued on Page 7.)


                                                                      Lead Planning Organization
                                                                            Representatives
                                                               City of Richmond – To Be Determined
                                                               Charles City County – Timothy W. Cotman, Sr.*
                                                                                         Chairman, Board of Supervisors
                                                               Chesterfield County – Edward B. Barber*
                                                                                        Vice Chair, Board of Supervisors
On April 15, 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency         Hanover County – Robert R. Setliff*
(EPA) issued its designation of areas in the United States                          Board of Supervisors
that do not meet new air quality standards under the           Henrico County – Patricia S. O’Bannon*
Clean Air Act. The Richmond/Petersburg area was one                                Board of Supervisors
region that did not meet the new attainment standards          City of Colonial Heights – J. Chris Kollman, III*
for ozone, a ground level pollutant caused by the mixture                                   City Council
of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxide         City of Hopewell – Curtis W. Harris*
                                                                                    City Council
(NOx) emissions in the presence of heat and sunlight.
                                                               Prince George County – Henry D. Parker, Jr.*
                                                                                           Board of Supervisors
Common sources of VOC and NOx emissions include                Richmond Area MPO – Paul E. Fisher, Executive Director
automobiles, trucks, buses, lawn mowers, barbecue                                        RRPDC
grills, chain saws, coal-fired power plants, chemical          Tri-Cities Area MPO – Renny B. Humphrey*
plants, off road vehicles, jets, asphalt paving and roofing,                             Board of Supervisors
vehicle refueling, dry cleaners, fertilizers and pesticides,                             Chesterfield County
and various other sources.                                     Virginia Department of Environmental Quality –
                                                                                         James E. Sydnor, Director
So, with such a huge variety of emission sources, how                                    Office of Air Quality Planning
can the region develop an overall plan that would reduce                                 and Monitoring
harmful emissions? Section 174 of the Clean Air Act            Virginia Department of Transportation – Earl T. Robb
                                                                                        State Environmental Administrator
requires the establishment of a Lead Planning
                                                               Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation–
Organization (LPO) composed of local elected officials,
                                                                                     Jack E. Apostolides
state transportation and air quality officials, and the                              Urban Programs and STIP Manager
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which is             * Local elected official
charged with developing a plan that identifies various

       For more information on Richmond Air quality and requirements, access the EPA web site:
                            http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/gooduphigh.
                             From fields and towers....The Region is My Backyard                                        5
                                                   Getting There...

The Region’s Priority Transportation Projects




With recent reports emanating from the Virginia Department       1. Richmond International Airport Expansion and Access
of Transportation stating that there is just not enough money       Improvements
to go around for transportation construction, what is a          2. Main Street Station, High-Speed Intercity Rail, GRTC
region to do?                                                       Improvements
                                                                 3. Routes 360 (East of I-295 in Hanover and West of Swift
Except for a one-time use of the state’s budget surplus,            Creek in Chesterfield)
funding for transportation may be at an all-time low.            4. Parham Road/Patterson Avenue Urban Interchange
                                                                    (Henrico)
To help the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB)              5. Huguenot Bridge Reconstruction
in deciding what projects should be funded, the Richmond
Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) took               The MPO’s other regional priority projects are as follows:
action to approve its list of priority transportation projects
and submitted it for the CTB’s consideration during its                 •   I-64 Corridor and Rail Improvements from
public hearing.                                                             Richmond to Hampton Roads
                                                                        •   Route 10 Widening (Chesterfield)
The list remains similar to the previous year’s list, with one          •   Route 250 Widening from Routes 623 to 621
exception: Widening of I-64 between I-295 at Short Pump                     (Goochland)
and Route 288 to six lanes was added to the list because                •   RMA and Powhite Parkway Extension Toll Removal
of the traffic increases resulting from the opening of                  •   Widening of I-64 Between I-295 at Short Pump
Route 288.                                                                  and Route 288 to Six Lanes

The region’s top five priority transportation projects are       For more information on the region’s priority projects, contact
as follows:                                                      Daniel Lysy at the RRPDC.
          The region’s priority projects are submitted to the Commonwealth Transportation Board
                                   for inclusion into VDOT’s Six-Year Plan.
                               From fields and towers....The Region is My Backyard                                           6
                                          Getting There...
Executive Summary Hits Presses!
                                                            Where Are They Now?
For those of you who had difficulty reading the 239-
page 2026 Long-Range Transportation Plan, outlining         The Richmond Regional PDC has had its share
the region’s transportation goals and objective for the     of successful interns—17 since 1997, as a
future in its entirety, the executive summary is here!      matter of fact—which translates into
                                                            approximately two per year. All were found
                                                            in the graduate program at VCU—but where
                                                            are they now?

                                                            The RRPDC will run a series, highlighting
                                                            some of our well-known high performers in
                                                            upcoming newsletters.

                                                                                      Lance Loethen

                                                                                   Lance served the PDC as
                                                                                   intern from October 2001
                                                                                   through April 2002. He
                                                                                   is currently working at
                                                                                   The Reinvestment Fund as
                                                                                   Research Associate in the
                                                                                   Public Policy & Program
                                                                                   Assessment department in
                                                                                   Philadelphia, PA. He now
                                                            conducts case studies to measure the social and
                                                            economic impacts of the agency’s lending activity
                                                            on low income communities and populations. In
The summary, printed in poster format, illustrates the      addition, Lance also handles internal requests for
LRTP’s main points succinctly and provides all the          mapping (ArcMap GIS), market analysis and
information you really need to know: from information       database management.
on the MPO—what it is and what it does, to the
timeline to a map on the reverse side highlighting the
region’s more significant projects.                                         (Continued from Page 5.)
                                                          Air Quality

Not enough info? Included in the neatly folded, 35 x      VDOT, VDRPT, and area local governments. The
45 poster is a CD for those who want the complete         LPO will deal with air quality planning requirements
plan. For more information on this summary and on         and how they relate to transportation and economic
the LRTP in general, contact Michael Clements at          development issues. For more information, access the
the Richmond Regional PDC or by e-mail at                 EPA web site: http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/
mclements@richmondregional.org.                           gooduphigh.

                    The next LRTP update is due to be completed by April 30, 2007.
                          From fields and towers....The Region is My Backyard                                    7
                                           What’s Happening...

Giving Back to the Community —                                                                    more volunteers participate
A Tradition                                                                                       in the Salvation Army’s
                                                                                                  Silver Bell program.

                                                                                                  While most holiday
                                                                                                  programs focus on
                                                                                                  children at this time of
                                                                                                  year, the Silver Bells
                                                                                                  program targets those in
                                                                                                  the growing elderly
                                                                                                  population who live alone
                                                                                                  with little income and
Giving back to the community has always been tradition at                                         those in nursing homes.
the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission.
What started off as a fun initiative many years ago, working     And it’s not just a matter of raising money. Presents must
with Habitat for Humanity building homes for those less          also be bought, wrapped and then delivered to the
fortunate, quickly developed into a tradition of awareness.      Salvation Army for distribution. This year, RRPDC staff
                                                                 raised over $200 and was able to buy enough presents
Each year, RRPDC volunteers participate in housebuilding         to provide eight elderly (Silver Bells) with cheer and
activities during spring months, and then later in the season,   happiness.


   Richmond Regional Planning District Commission
   2104 West Laburnum Avenue, Suite 101
   Richmond, VA 23227

   ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED




Comments on the FY 05 Transportation Improvement Program have been received. The final TIP can be viewed
              by accessing the Richmond Regional PDC web site at www.richmondregional.org
                             From fields and towers....The Region is My Backyard                                           8

				
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