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CAP Accomplishments

Seeking Transportation Solutions for the 21st Century

Interstate 81

In 2008, CAP worked with the Shenandoah Valley Network to support state Senator Mark Obenshain’s effort to pass legislation in the Virginia General Assembly disallowing tolls on I-81 unless specifically authorized by the General Assembly.  This legislation provides an opportunity for legislative oversight of Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) as it plans upgrades and widening on I-81. Tolls would give VDOT the resources to widen the highway without any meaningful input from the public or the General Assembly.

CAP also submitted favorable comments on an I-81 interchange safety project in Harrisonburg.  VDOT’s plan to redesign the interchange at Route 33 fits well with the Reasonable Solutions alternatives for I-81, endorsed by 33 local governments and civic groups.

Regional Roads

CAP testified before VDOT at a six year plan hearing in favor of restoring funding for the Southeast Connector project and Port Republic road widening.  The projects support east and west traffic movement, decreasing the need for widening of I-81 or a bypass.

Bridgewater Bypass

The MPO approved the bypass around Bridgewater in 2009. CAP looked closely at VDOT’s report on the likely impact of the new road. Buried in a obscure section of the report, CAP found that VDOT’s data made it clear that the Bridgewater Bypass would actually make Main Street traffic worse in Bridgewater! Unfortunately, CAP’s input in the planning process was ignored, as town officials pressed for a new road through a prime agricultural area where they hope to spur commercial development. This sprawl is in conflict with the county’s plan to keep growth close to existing towns. Plans for the bypass will proceed.

Rural Roads / Urban Roads

VDOT is engaged in a transportation planning process for rural areas.  In 2008, CAP co-signed a letter to the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission  outlining our concerns with the rural transportation planning process and asking to be included in future meetings and discussions. CAP also has been working to provide citizen participation in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) planning process.

Preserving Rockingham’s Character & Promoting Innovative Community Development

Purchase of Development Rights Program

CAP joined the Valley Conservation Council and a group of farmers and agri-businessmen in 2008 to encourage the county to develop a purchase of development rights ordinance. We worked closely with the county to draft a PDR ordinance and policies, in cooperation with a citizens committee that includes Kim Sandum, CAP’s Executive Director.

George Washington National Forest Plan

With 24 percent of Rockingham County in the National Forest, CAP recognized a crucial need to be involved with the planning process.  CAP worked to draw attention to critical management issues, such as the development of industrial wind and hydraulic fracturing on the forest in Rockingham County, and to encourage the public to participate in Forest Service planning meetings.

CAP also joined the Shenandoah Valley Network and Wild Virginia to call on the Forest Service to do a better job of managing drinking water resources.  There is no specific drinking watershed management in the current forest plan. CAP helped craft a policy for drinking water resource management on the forest and worked with local governments to adopt resolutions in support of this policy. Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, and the towns of Dayton, Broadway and Timberville adopted the forest drinking watershed management resolution in 2008.

Wind Energy Development & Planning

CAP encourages the use of low-impact small and medium-size wind power facilities to meet individual and local needs, while urging county officials to carefully plan for the siting and management of industrial-scale projects to avoid negative impacts on the landscape, wildlife, scenic vistas and other natural resources. CAP’s executive director sits on a county committee studying wind energy planning. For more information on Wind Energy Development visit our partner SVN’s website.

Endless Caverns

In 2007, CAP learned that developers had purchased Endless Caverns, a small campground and caverns attraction in the northern area of the county, with the intent to develop it into an RV resort with space for 450 RVs and many other amenities.  We worked closely with neighboring landowners in 2007 to significantly slow the development approval process so that neighbors’ concerns, including a badly undersized sewage system, could be addressed.

In 2008, CAP participated in a mediated settlement of the Endless Caverns issue that resulted in the project being scaled back to 300 RV sites, elimination of many of the “theme park” accessory projects and other guarantees to the community and adjacent landowners. CAP also led the effort to revise to the county’s campground ordinance in 2008.  The revision corrects flaws in the old ordinance that allowed the Endless Caverns project to be approved under rules created for 1950s-style mom and pop campgrounds.

INFORMATION

CAP provides timely and accurate information to foster good public policy in transportation, land use planning and land conservation.

ANALYSIS

CAP studies how local, regional and state plans will impact Rockingham County's rural heritage, traditional towns and villages, and the natural, historic and other resources essential to our high quality of life.

ENGAGEMENT

CAP helps Rockingham residents make their voices heard on matters that impact the County's rural character, urban spaces and natural and cultural resources.