By Bob Stuart | Original Article
Feb. 8, 2018

WAYNESBORO — A blueprint for Waynesboro’s future could go before Waynesboro City Council in March for final approval.

The city’s new comprehensive plan for development, more than a year in the making, should be approved by the Waynesboro Planning Commission on Feb. 20, said Luke Juday, the city’s director of planning.

Juday said tentatively, that Waynesboro City Council would hold a public hearing on the new plan on March 12.

He calls the new comprehensive plan the “culmination of a year’s work.”

“I think the plan offers a great vision. It’s a shift in mindset for us. This is a plan that soberly looks at the city and how we could thrive,” Juday said.

Gone is a city that once was a manufacturing juggernaut. The shift suggested by the new comprehensive plan is finding a way to attract more new residents. Research shows that only a fifth to a quarter of those working in Waynesboro actually live here.

Part of the road map for attracting new residents is an improved quality of life, neighborhoods and infrastructure. Juday said the city has natural resources that can be highlighted including the South River Greenway, biking trails and a proximity to both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park.

“This is capitalizing on what we have,” Juday said. “No one has the same opportunity we have.”

The neighborhood improvement could be achieved by better code enforcement and a restoration of pride in home ownership. The city’s comprehensive plan consultant, czbLLC of Alexandria, spoke last summer of pent up demand for improving owned properties, saying there is tens of millions in deferred maintenance in Waynesboro.

Another key factor is education. The state average for households with a college degree is 37 percent while Waynesboro’s is 18.4 percent.

Juday said some of the recommendations contained in the comprehensive plan could get attention in the upcoming 2018-19 city budget.

For further information about the comprehensive plan, go to the city of Waynesboro website at Waynesboro.va.us.