Public Notice of Bath-Highland Network Authority Meeting

On February 3, 2020, at 1:00 p.m., the Bath-Highland Network Authority will hold a meeting at the Highland Center at 61 Highland Center Drive Monterey, Virginia 24465 . For more information about the meeting, please contact Ms. Hunter Moore at 540-885-5174 or


Bonnie Riedesel & Nancy Gourley Recognized at Commission Meeting

Executive Director Bonnie Riedesel was recognized for her 25 years of service with the CSPDC during the December 2019 Commission Meeting. She started her tenure in 1994 as a regional planner and has served as Executive Director since 2008.
Nancy Gourley was also recognized for her six years of outstanding leadership of the BRITE Bus transit system. She will be retiring from her role as Transit Manager in January 2020.

VAPDC Winter Conference: February 6-7, 2020

The Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC), Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and Virginia Municipal League (VML) will join forces again this year for their annual Winter Conference in Richmond on February 6-7, 2020. Participants will attend the 2020 General Assembly session on County Government Day and will hear from Governor Ralph Northam regarding his legislative agenda and how it will strengthen Virginia’s communities. Sonya Waddell, Vice President and Economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond will also present on state and local economic perspectives. Registration for the conference is now open.

Rails to Trail Forms Committee

A group of elected leaders, local government staff, non-profits, trail advocates, and PDC staff met on November 7, 2019 in the Town of Mt. Jackson to convene the Shenandoah Valley Rail Trail Exploratory Partnership. The Rail Trail is proposed to run for 38 miles connecting eight towns and two counties between the Town of Strasburg in northern Shenandoah County to Broadway in northwestern Rockingham County.
At the meeting, a set of bylaws was approved, Mr. Brandon Davis, NSVRC Executive Director and Ms. Bonnie Riedesel, CSPDC Executive Director were elected chair and vice-chair respectively and Mr. Don Hindman was appointed as the Program Director of the Partnership. The Partnership will reconvene in early 2020 to develop a scope of work for a rail trail feasibility study and master plan, and to begin work with Ursula Lemanski, who will provide technical assistance and project coordination to the Partnership through the National Park Service via a Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. Visit the Shenandoah Valley Rail Trail website for more information.

Survey Sheds Light on Transportation Priorities

In December 2019, the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (SAWMPO) conducted a survey to determine transportation needs and priorities in the SAW region. Over 200 responses collected will help inform the SAWMPO’s 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), which prioritizes transportation projects for funding over the next 25 years. The public will have an opportunity to view and provide comment on the draft LRTP before it is completed by the end of 2020.
View the transportation survey summary on the SAWMPO website.

Infrastructure Completed for Phase II of Greenhouse Village

Since 2012, Rockbridge County has partnered with Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity in the development of affordable housing in the Greenhouse Village neighborhood, a mixed-income community of single-family homes located near Lexington. The project has been completed in multiple phases, and in September 2017 Rockbridge County was awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $476,693 in funds for Phase II. The CDBG grant was matched with $1,978,100 in additional funds from other sources. The CDBG funding was used for the development of water, sewer, and street infrastructure which will allow for the construction of 12 new single-family homes bringing the total to 20 new homes built by Habitat in Greenhouse Village. The construction of the infrastructure was completed in fall 2019. Construction on the homes will be completed by Habitat in January 2022.

CSPDC provided grant administration services, and the CDBG program is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

USDA Funds Agricultural Enterprise Center Feasibility Study

The CSPDC has been selected to receive an $85,000 grant award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through their Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).  This grant was one of 42 out of 215 LFPP grants awarded and the only one funded in Virginia. Grant funds will be used to fund a feasibility study to determine the viability of a certified, commercial, shared-use Agricultural Enterprise Center located in the central Shenandoah Valley. The study also will identify what components will be the most successful and beneficial to local farmers such as a commercial kitchen, food lab/testing kitchen, flash freeze facility, training space for smart-ag classes and seminars, packaging and distribution operations, and business planning resources. The study will explore physical locations for a facility and structure a comprehensive business plan.
A study team composed of potential users and representatives from businesses and organizations who support local food production will convene in February to begin the study process that is anticipated to last approximately 18 months.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Planning Continues in 2020

Additional funding has been granted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to the CSPDC and 14 other Bay PDCs to continue the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan efforts in 2020. The CSPDC will continue to provide technical and administrative assistance to local governments and stakeholders as they discuss and determine how to implement watershed best management practices to help ensure pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay are in place no later than 2025. The DEQ and CSPDC have worked together to develop a scope of work to guide the initiative’s efforts through 2020.

All Hazard Mitigation Plan Completed

CSPDC staff recently completed the 2020 update of the Central Shenandoah Hazard Mitigation Plan. This is the second update of the original 2005 Plan. Local jurisdictions are legally required to have a current Hazard Mitigation Plan in place in order to be eligible to receive certain federal mitigation funds. The purpose of the Plan is to identify natural hazards and other vulnerabilities that affect the Region and offer mitigation strategies that will lessen the negative impacts of these hazards on people, homes, businesses, and communities.
The next steps are review of the Plan by Virginia Department of Emergency Management staff and then approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Once the Plan has been approved by FEMA, it will be adopted by the 21 jurisdictions in the Planning District. It is hoped that the local adoptions will be completed in the Spring of 2020.