The latest on the programs and projects of
the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.
Around the Region
 January 2019
CSPDC Turns 50!

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC). In 1968, the Virginia State Legislature passed the Virginia Area Development Act which set forth the framework for the establishment of regional planning district commissions throughout the state, and on October 1, 1969, the CSPDC was organized.

The CSPDC is one of 21 planning districts in the state and includes the five counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockingham, and Rockbridge, the five cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro, and the 11 incorporated towns within.
 
The purpose of the Commission, as stated in the original Bylaws, is to assist the District's localities in addressing local problems on a regional basis, as well as promoting economic and community development in the region in cooperation with Federal, State and local governments and organizations. That mission is the same today, and the 10 jurisdictions have greatly benefited from this cooperative effort for 50 years.
 
Throughout the year, we will highlight some of our past accomplishments that have positively impacted our localities, improved the quality of life for our citizens, and enhanced diversification of the local economy. The picture above was taken from the CSPDC's 1971 Annual Report and includes from left to right Commission Chairman, Charles Phillips (Lexington); Commissioners Lyle Koogler (Rockbridge County), Roy Cleek (Bath County), C.N. Wine (Rockingham County), John Moyers (Highland County), and the first CSPDC Executive Director, Ed Parcha.
CSPDC Submits Chesapeake Bay WIP III Final Report

In December, the CSPDC submitted the final report to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the Chesapeake Bay Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP III). The WIP III planning process began in July and involved many local stakeholders including representatives from localities, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Virginia Departments of Health, Forestry, Transportation, Environmental Quality, and Conservation & Recreation, Virginia Wilderness Committee, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Valley Conservation Council, and the Community Alliance for Preservation, as well as CSPDC staff.
 
DEQ will be integrating all regional reports into one statewide WIP III report and submitting to the Environmental Protection Agency. Virginia's WIP III will ensure pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Chesapeake Bay are in place no later than 2025.

For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan, please contact Regional Planner/GIS Coordinator, Hunter Moore: hunter@cspdc.org.
Bath County Housing Plan Funded

In December, Bath County was awarded a $20,000 Community Impact Grant from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). Funding will be used to procure a consultant to conduct a county-wide housing needs assessment and market analysis report. Bath County has identified housing as a priority for community development, including opportunities for rental housing and homeownership, and the goal is to enhance and expand opportunities for affordable, workforce housing in the County.

The County will be organizing a Project Team of stakeholders to oversee the project, and the CSPDC will provide grant administration and management services for the project.
New CSPDC Staff Members: Rachel Salatin & Zach Beard
 
We are pleased to announce that on January 2, Rachel Salatin joined our staff as our new   Fields of Gold  Agritourism Coordinator and Zach Beard as a Transportation Planner.
 
For the past three years, Rachel Salatin has been the Executive Director of the Beverley Street Studio School. Prior to that, she was the Membership Coordinator for the Artisan Center of Virginia. Rachel has extensive experience with branding, marketing, social media and websites, and planning and hosting events and conferences. Rachel grew up on a local family farm, Polyface Farm in Augusta County, and has a deep appreciation and understanding of the region's rich agricultural landscape. She is looking forward to supporting our small businesses and inviting visitors to enjoy our diverse and unique agritourism destinations.
 
Zach Beard is a native of Rockingham County, and joins the CSPDC after working for the West Virginia University Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic in Morgantown, WV. Prior to that, Zach worked as a local foods coordinator for our partners at the Highland Center in Monterey. Zach holds a master's of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and recently received his American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification. Zach will help staff our urban and rural transportation planning programs.
Ted Byrd Recognized for Service on Commission

At its December 2018 meeting, the Commission recognized Mr. Ted Byrd for his outstanding leadership and notable service on the CSPDC Commission, the Harrisonburg City Council, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham MPO Policy Board, and to the people of the District. Mr. Byrd served on the CSPDC Commission from January 2015 to December 2018, on the CSPDC Executive Committee, and as Vice Chair of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham MPO.
Governor Northram Announces Support for I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan

On January 8, 2019, Governor Ralph Northam issued a press release announcing the administration and a group of bi-partisan legislators' support for the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, and a I-81 Improvement Fund that would raise $2.2 billion for improvements along the interstate corridor. Interstate tolls would raise revenues for the Improvement Fund. The proposal would establish limits on toll rates, and give automobiles and small trucks the ability to purchase an annual pass allowing unlimited use of I-81 for a fixed yearly fee. Revenues collected would only be used for improvements included in the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan that was adopted by the Commonwealth Transportation Board at its December meeting.
  
The CSDPC, HRMPO, and SAWMPO all passed resolutions of support for the Improvement Plan and a dedicated funding source for the critical improvements to I-81. The resolutions were sent to our full General Assembly delegation in December, 2018. The Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program legislation will be patroned by Senators Mark Obenshain and Bill Carrico in the Senate, and by Delegates Steve Landes and Terry Austin in the House.
  
Read the Full release here. The Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan can be found at www.va81corridor.org.

Mobility Management Resource Guide Now Available

The CSPDC's new Mobility Management Resource Guide provides a central location to obtain information on various transportation and transit providers in the region and to help increase resource sharing among the agencies that provide these services. The guide includes contact information, service area, population served, and transportation services.
Commissioners Hear Presentation on ALICE

At the December 2018 CSPDC Commission meeting, Laura Toni-Holsinger, Executive Director for the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County gave a thought-provoking presentation on the ALICEĀ® project.

ALICE focuses on community members who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed, and addresses the challenges of individuals and families who earn more than the official Federal poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living. For more information about the ALICE Project in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County and to read the Virginia ALICE Report, visit https://uwhr.org/ALICE.
VAPDC 50th Anniversary Celebration Reception

Come celebrate 50 years of regionalism in the Commonwealth! On January 31, the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) joins the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) for the annual   County Government Day at the Omni Richmond Hotel. Following this valuable networking event, the VAPDC 50th Anniversary Celebration Reception will be held at the hotel.   Register online today!
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