(Above) Source: Jefferson County Planning Commission (March 14 2023 Work Session)
What do you like about living in Jefferson County? What are your concerns about the community? These are the types of questions you’ll hear as the County’s planning team works on updating the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan. While the name makes it sound complicated, at a basic level a comprehensive plan is a “destination and a direction on how to get there,” says Luke Seigfried, who is organizing the process of updating the plan. “We look at the aspects that make the county a community and create an action plan that allows for incremental moves over the next 20 years.”
Seigfried described the process as understanding what residents value — what makes a community livable, with things to do, and places to work. He also noted that for the plan to be most useful, it needs to reflect the voices of all types of residents — “there’s a lot of knowledge in the community.”
The word cloud above reflects the common themes included in the initial round of survey responses. A quick glance confirms that the local rivers and scenery are at the top of the list of what residents value about Jefferson County. While the past decade was relatively stable in terms of population and housing growth (see chart, above), you can see concerns about growth and development reflected in these responses too, matching up with data suggesting significantly faster growth over the next decade.
June 5 Public Input Session
Seigfried emphasized that “the more we hear about things the better we can articulate it into policy.” He’s hoping for a good turnout at the public input session to be held on June 5, from 7 to 9 pm, in the cafeteria at Jefferson High School (4141 Flowing Springs Rd, Shenandoah Junction). This event will start off with a brief introduction by the planning team and then break into small groups to allow residents to toss around ideas with each other about what they think works well, and what doesn’t work well. The planning team will then collect the small group responses and present them to the entire audience for feedback.
A timeline and presentations from the planning team’s working sessions are posted on the County’s website (link).
[The print version of this article mis-spelled Luke Seigfried’s name.]By Staff Contributor