Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan

Advisory Group – Local Government Working Group

April 16, 2002



- Topics -

1.      Welcome and Introductions


2.      Priority Areas Discussion


3.      Rank and Prioritize Goals


4.      What’s next?


5.      Adjourn






Margaret “Prue” Davis, Frank Herrin, Russell & Rachel Williams (Dragon Run Steering Committee); Mike Anderberg (Friends of Dragon Run); Anne Ducey-Ortiz (Gloucester County); Paul Koll (King and Queen County); Beth Locklear (VA Division of Natural Heritage); David Fuss (Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission)




David Fuss welcomed everyone and began introductions. David briefly explained the handout – a matrix to compare comprehensive plan and zoning components of the four county governments in the watershed.


Priority Areas Discussion


David presented the following list of priority areas for discussion that was distilled from the March 19 meeting:



Concern was raised that the list was mostly procedural and did not contain enough goal-oriented language.


Mike Anderberg suggested that the group develop model language for local governments to amend their comprehensive plans to recognize the Dragon Run watershed as a subarea deserving distinct focus – to think about the Dragon regionally and the local governments can act jointly.


There was a great deal of discussion about the need to get a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the counties first. Then, model language and specific recommendations can be considered. In order to get community/landowner buy-in, the MOA must flow through the Dragon Run Steering Committee to the Planning District Commission to the Boards of Supervisors and to their planning commissions. This process will ensure that public input is sought. The MOA is the first step to get the attention of the Boards of Supervisors. Further discussion revealed that the Dragon Run Steering Committee could be a vehicle for comp plan amendment review or, more likely, an appropriate place to review applications for development. Most comp plan amendments would be so general that other counties would probably not be very concerned.


There was a feeling that the MOA needed to address ‘touchstones’ that are of interest to landowners to get them involved. The group needs to avoid landowner alienation and get positive points across to landowners. Use broad enough wording so that landowners won’t be rattled.


There was a brief discussion about the lack of perceived threat of land use changes in the watershed. It was noted that the rate of turnover of land parcels is very low. Historically, adjacent landowners have purchased land that came up for sale. It was also noted, however, that this may not always be the case throughout the watershed and that damage to tributary streams can “kill the Dragon stream from afar.”


There was brief discussion about concerns surrounding reservoir development in the watershed and fire/smoke concerns from prescribed burning or wildfires.




The group determined that the following topic areas served as the foundation for its goals:

·         Common vision of watershed

·         Watershed deserves distinctive treatment

·         Evaluate and preserve current land uses and evaluate existing planning tools

·         Preserve sense of peace and serenity by managing access

·         Acknowledge watershed’s unique environmental/ecological value

·         Plan for future development pressure


Other ideas were:

·         Comprehensive plan recognition of Dragon Run watershed as regional

·         Open space preservation


The group did not rank/prioritize its goals.




The next meeting will be with the entire Advisory Group on May 8, 2002 at 7:30 PM at the MPPDC offices in Saluda.