Barboursville Village Overlay District Needs More Public Input

The following email alert was sent out on August 29, 2016 regarding proposed design standards for development in Barboursville:


Hi all,

I just wanted to follow up on the email alert I sent out earlier this month about the proposed design standards for development in Barboursville.

The county hasn’t made any changes to the proposal since the town hall meeting. The planning commission will be holding a public hearing this Thursday, September 1 at 6 p.m. in the Gordon Building Meeting Room, 112 W. Main St., Orange, VA 22960.

Unfortunately, a public hearing on an ordinance that’s already been drafted is not a replacement for a visioning process that allows residents to discuss and choose the different design standards that reflect their community. I encourage you to attend and speak at Thursday’s hearing to express your concerns.

Dan Holmes

On Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 4:52 PM, Dan Holmes, PEC wrote:

The Piedmont Environmental Council 


How things look can really matter

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There will be a public meeting on the draft design standards on Monday, August 8, from 6-8pm. More details below.

Dear Supporter,

The look and feel of development has a major impact on the character of a community. That’s why I wanted to share the draft design standards for commercial development that the County is considering for Barboursville.

The bad news? The proposed standards are non-specific, and in my opinion, are not strong enough to protect the economic vitality, beauty and character of Barboursville. Worse, there appears to have been little, if any, public input — so it’s not clear whether the proposal actually reflects the desires of local residents.

The good news? There’s still time to provide input. The adoption of design standards can be a proactive way to protect and enhance the character of our community. There is a public meeting this coming Monday, August 8, from 6-8 pm.

Public Meeting

Monday, August 8 | 6pm – 8pm
Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department
5251 Spotswood Trl., Barboursville, VA 22923

If you cannot attend, I strongly encourage you to send a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking for citizen involvement in developing a vision that design guidelines would be based on.

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Design standards should be specific and fit with the community’s vision for a place. While not reflective of Barboursville, other localities offer examples of much more detailed guidelines. The sketch above was taken from a Village Overlay District in Goochland County.

Why do design standards matter?

Barboursville is the western gateway to the county – leading to important historic resources like Montpelier and businesses like Barboursville Vineyards.

Well-thought-out design standards can preserve what residents and tourists already love about Barboursville, while enhancing the potential economic benefit of new development in the village. Features that include building architecture, landscaping, parking, signage and lighting, should be carefully taken into consideration. The current proposal offers little guidance for these things.

The process

What’s most frustrating to me is that there was no public meeting before a draft was created. The community should be given the opportunity to discuss a vision for the village, and any proposed design standards and regulations should follow that vision.

If you have any questions before the meeting next week, don’t hesitate to contact me.


Dan Holmes
Orange County Land Use
The Piedmont Environmental Council