Franklin County is taking its first steps toward creating an updated village plan for the Union Hall community. The plan will guide development in the area for the next few decades.
This will be an addition to the original village plan developed for Union Hall. The Franklin County Board of Supervisors approved a previous village plan for the community in 2014 after more than a year of work.
Franklin County applied for a Growth and Accessibility Planning Technical Assistance Program grant from the Virginia Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment to continue development of the village plan. The county was awarded $100,000 and the technical assistance of EPR, P.C. and Michael Baker International to develop the updated plan.
This newest plan kicked with a community meeting at Franklin Heights Church in Union Hall on Oct. 5. More than 100 people were in attendance for the initial meeting to discuss what they would like to see in the community.
Lisa Cooper, principle planner for Franklin County, said some of the comments made at the meeting included requests a closer grocery store, more commercial shopping and more restaurant options. Respondents also requested that the community keep its rural charm.
“We were really excited to have the interest we did,” Cooper said of the initial meeting.
Just like the previous plan, the Union Hall village center was classified as the intersection of Virginia 40 and Kemp Ford Road. The village would stretch approximately a mile in all directions.
Information from residents at the initial meeting will be used by the county and consultants to develop a final plan expected to be completed for review sometime early next year. Once completed, a public hearing will be held on the plan before final approval by the Franklin County Board of Supervisors.
For anyone interested in providing input on the Union Hall Village Plan that was unable to attend the Oct. 5 meeting, a survey is available online. The eight-question survey will be available until Oct. 31.
Cooper said 56 people have taken the survey so far, but she would like to see many more before the Oct. 31 deadline. The questions ask a range of questions to get a better feel of how Union Hall residents would like to see the community grow in the future.
While the process is expected to take several months, Cooper said any Union Hall resident can sign up to be part of an email list to get updates on the village plan. The list will allow residents to know of any upcoming meetings concerning the village plan.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Union Hall Village Plan can contact Cooper at 483-3027, ext. 2642 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.