After more than a year of discussions and updates, the Town of Madison Planning Commission recommended to approve the 2019 comprehensive plan.

The planning commission recommended approval of the 111-page, four section document that explains the vision, goals, the town today and the town in the future following a joint public hearing with the Madison Town Council June 6. No comments were received during the public hearings.

Prepared by town attorney Maynard Sipe with the assistance of former Albemarle County planner, Mary Joy Scala, the state mandated plan for the town’s future development includes extensive study of the existing conditions and growth trends as well as land-use, transportation and broadband plans for the future of Madison. Sipe has explained the purpose of the plan is to help guide future decisions about land use, planning for services, capital expenditures, economic development and resource protection.

Normally updated every five years, the Town of Madison hasn’t revised the comprehensive plan since 2012 and unlike the two previous versions, this one was completely redone.

“Rather than re-writing it, we decided this time to start from scratch,” said Sipe. “Some of the data needed updating.”

Town mayor Willie Lamar said the process was time-consuming, but it was important to completely re-do the comprehensive plan rather than rely on facts and data from previous plans, some of which were inaccurate or outdated.

Sipe has suggested adding color photographs, additional maps and illustrations as well as binding the final plan.

The comprehensive plan proposes that Madison values and strives to be a safe, welcoming and walkable community, family-friendly, supportive of its history and historic setting, supportive of its cultural institutions (churches, library and museums), an economic hub, modern and well-connected with transportation and communication options and a pleasant residential community. The town seeks to preserve historic structures while fostering business and to cultivate the small-town qualities that residents and visitors prize. The 2019 comprehensive plan clearly defines two separate commercial areas and a historic district and provides a current inventory of the historical structures. The state requires transportation and affordable housing components to the plan.

The town council will vote on the plan and the 2019/2020 budget at a continued meeting June 24 at 5 p.m. at the Madison town office.

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