Officials from Prince William County have gained insight from a recent meeting.
Members of the Prince William County Planning Commission met with the Fauquier County Planning Commission to discuss development, planning and zoning in both localities.
The gathering was the second one held in the past two years.
Improving communication between the jurisdictions is one benefit of the meetings.
“Our planning office has been communicating over the years with the Prince William office and that becomes more robust when we’re all in the same room together,” said Adrienne Garreau, Fauquier County Planning Commission’s chair.
The two counties differ in size and population.
About 456,100 people reside in Prince William County’s 348 square miles. Fauquier County, which spreads across 647 square miles, has 69,100 residents.
The median household incomes also differ slightly. Prince William County’s median household income is about $98,500, a nearly $5,000 increase from Fauquier County’s.
Despite these differences, the two planning commissions gain understanding from the issues they face.
Fauquier County’s Planning Commission can learn from Prince William County’s development.
“It’s certainly a very different intensity, but many of the same issues that you all deal with are issues that we face as well,” Gerreau said.
Prince William County can better understand challenges in rural areas.
“We have a larger development area. Our population is higher. We have a higher level of service needs,” said Prince William County Planning Director Rebecca Horner. “It’s nice to be able to look at their rural policies and be able to learn what might work in Prince William County.”
Prince William County officials can also promote agritourism by learning about Fauquier County’s approach.
“It was very interesting to hear how they define agritourism, how they’re regulating it,” Horner said. “It’s good to know their approach to see if there are additional things that we can do to address impacts from those types of uses.”
The meeting not only gave the two groups ideas they can implement in their jurisdictions. It also showed them how they can work together in the future.
“We’re learning here, not only from the planning commission standpoint,” said Don Taylor, the Prince William County Planning Commission’s at-large member. “That gets these two organizations in sync on how we’re going to move forward.”
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