Introduction and Legal Basis For the Comprehensive Plan for Nottoway County
The Comprehensive Plan for Nottoway County is a long-range planning tool used to define the county’s vision, goals and policies. The Comprehensive Plan is a document prepared by the county to assist in guiding future growth and development. The Plan will accurately communicate citizen’s needs and desires for their county and will recommend specific strategies to achieve the desired goals while protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of our citizens. The Comprehensive Plan examines various elements of the county such as population, housing, economy, natural resources, public and community facilities and how they relate to land use, historically and today.
The Comprehensive Plan is more than just a document disclosing past and present land use trends. It is a process of organizing for the future. It creates a strategy for land use patterns of tomorrow. Comprehensive planning is an organized way or process of thinking about tomorrow. Thinking about how the county changed in the past can help predict what changes might occur in the future. This type of thinking translates into action and can be done in an on-going fashion and made part of the routine administrative process.
The State of Virginia requires under section 15.2-2223 of the Code of Virginia that every local government adopt and maintain a Comprehensive Plan for the territory that it governs. Once adopted, this plan is required to be reviewed at least once every five years by the County Planning Commission. This insures that local governments continue to evaluate factors which may change and have influence on the county.
The Code also states that “the comprehensive plan shall be made with the purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the territory which will, in accordance with present and probable future needs and resources best promote the health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants”.
Section 15.2-2200 of The Code of Virginia establishes the legislative intent of a planning and zoning enabling authority. The Code states “to encourage localities to improve the public health, safety convenience and welfare of its citizens and to plan for the future development of communities to the end that transportation systems be carefully planned; that new community centers be developed with adequate highway, utility, health, education, and recreational facilities; that the need for mineral resources and the needs of agriculture, industry and business be recognized in future growth; that residential areas be provided with healthy surroundings for family life; that agricultural and forestall land be preserved; and that the growth of the community be consistent with the efficient and economical use of public funds”.