‘Ready for a New Era:’ New planning vision, zoning, Comprehensive Plan become law

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 17, Ranson City Council members unanimously approved proposals some two years in the making, enacting a new zoning code and Comprehensive Plan designed to guide growth and redevelopment for decades to come.

“There was never any doubt these measures would pass into law,” said Ranson Mayor A. David Hamill. “That’s because, from the beginning, we involved everybody – property owners, business people, developers and elected officials from both Ranson and Charles Town. We all had a hand in turning our ideas into plans and ordinances. By making them law, we’re signaling to our partners in the federal agencies that funded the planning and to those considering investment in our region that we’re ready for a new era…” [cont.]

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Initial Designs Emerge for Fairfax Blvd: Join us for the presentation

Emerging plans for Fairfax Boulevard will be presented to the Planning Commission on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, immediately following their scheduled 7:30pm meeting. Ranson residents are invited to attend as project team consultants detail Ranson’s first thoroughfare design in conformance with the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan and SmartCode.

These new designs, paid for with Sustainability Grant funding, cover Fairfax Boulevard from Washington Street to Fairfax Crossing… [cont.]

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Planning Commission Approves Proposals: City Council to consider adoption April 3, 17

We’re in the home stretch of Ranson’s ambitious planning effort. With the Planning Commission’s March 26 approval of all the proposals stemming from the City’s eight-month collaborative planning effort, the next — and final — steps toward adoption are on April 3 and 17.

On April 3, Ranson’s City Council hears the legally required first reading of updates of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and a new zoning code designed to enable goals for growth and redevelopment in harmony with the City’s character and traditions. The proposals are scheduled to be voted upon at the April 17 City Council session. Both meetings are open to the public. For details of time and place, go here.

Citizens who attended the March 26 Planning Council meeting offered suggestions for clarifying elements in some of the proposals. And those suggestions were incorporated into the revised documents you’ll find here.

Some in attendance had taken part in meetings and work sessions that have taken place over the previous eight months. They spoke in support of the ideas reflected in the documents, pleased, as one citizen indicated, that the project team made every effort to encourage the look and feel of the most admired neighborhoods of Ranson in the shaping of rules for new development and redevelopment.

You can follow progress through those community meetings dating back to August of 2011 in the posts immediately preceding this one. And you can get a sense of the project’s overall goals by checking out the column to the immediate right.

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Final Meetings Announced

It’s the final stretch for Ranson’s new zoning options, the update of our Comprehensive Plan, and the brownfield redevelopment plans addressed during fall, 2011 public meetings.

The finish line draws closer by the day, as a newly-announced series of hearings allows for presentation of final drafts, comment, and consideration by city officials. The complete schedule can be found here. All interested residents are welcome to attend.

To get up to speed before the hearings, review the proposed Comprehensive Plan update, the new zoning code option, and the full report from the September workshops here. Or you can review them in person at City Hall during regular office hours.

To get us to this stage in the process, residents, property owners and business folks have collaborated with staff and elected officials of both Ranson and Charles Town. There have been workshops and seminars, show-and-tell design reviews and presentations by the consulting team. There was even an historic joint working session for the Ranson and Charles Town Councils. To follow the entire process, check out the posts preceding this one.

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Ranson and Charles Town’s Future? Sustainable, connected, in character

On Wednesday, September 14, Ranson and Charles Town citizens and leaders sloshed into Charles Town’s Old Opera House from a dusk downpour to celebrate the conclusion of an intensive week of planning with their consulting team.

“Unless you were on the third floor of city hall this week to watch these people work,” said Ranson Mayor A. David Hamill, “it would be hard to imagine how hard they went at it…” [cont.]

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A New “Green Corridor” Merges, Symbolizes Project Goals

If there’s a signature project among those the workshop teams are tackling this week, it’s the North-South Fairfax Boulevard/George Street thoroughfare.

The goal: To create a true boulevard that enables walkable, neighborhood-appropriate mixed uses. It’s intended to be a “green” corridor because it’s designed to make the most of state-of-the-art storm water management systems and other environmentally friendly techniques… [cont.]

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Open House Check-In:
How are we doing so far?

[UPDATED: 09-12-11, 9:55am] There were lots of reasons not to show up Sunday night at Ranson’s Independent Fire Hall to talk about planning and zoning.

It was the 10th anniversary of 9-11-2001, when many families chose to spend the day together. A gulley-washer of a rain storm blew through just before meeting time. And there were the distractions of Sunday sports on the tube. Yet some 60 folks dropped by for the Ranson Renewed/Charles Town Connected open house.

“I want to thank everyone who made this effort,” Ranson Mayor A. David Hamill told the crowd. “Give yourself a round of applause…” [cont.]

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Historic Charles Washington Hall: Civic centerpiece for Charles Town and Ranson?

Two principal goals of the Ranson Renewed/Charles Town Connected project intersect on the historic corner of Washington and George Streets in Charles Town. That’s the site of Charles Washington Hall.

The building that now occupies that space dates back to 1874, after fires destroyed previous structures. And two of the workshop’s three teams are collaborating on plans for a rehabilitation effort that will accomplish two things at once… [cont.]

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