The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) represents and serves the local governments of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge, and Rockingham counties and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro as well as the 11 towns within the Central Shenandoah region.
The CSPDC works with its member jurisdictions, communities and agencies to provide high-quality planning, technical assistance, and facilitation of services that address local, regional and state needs in an innovative, timely and cooperative manner. Covering everything from land use planning, transportation, water and waste-water utilities, natural resource management, affordable housing, economic and community development, disaster mitigation and preparedness, agritourism to human services, the CSPDC is an invaluable asset to the quality of life in the Shenandoah Valley. For more information about the CSPDC, click here.
This April, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) launched a Work from Home Pilot Program and selected three localities in the Central Shenandoah Region to participate: Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, and Highland County. (DHCD also selected the Town of Luray and Marion.) Through the Pilot Program, the National Main Street Center and Virginia Main Street will provide technical assistance to assess remote work and residential attraction as a community revitalization strategy. The program kicks off this May and will result in place-based recommendations and a feasibility report.
COVID-19 accelerated remote work trends and enabled many to relocate and telework. DHCD’s Work from Home Pilot Program will help localities pursue, prepare for, or respond to remote work migration. At a regional level, remote work has been discussed in terms of COVID-19 recovery and economic development. The CSPDC’s COVID-19 Economic Impact Report, prepared by Chmura Analytics, includes a remote work analysis, and information on telework plans, remote work trends, and broadband. More remote work resources are available on the CSPDC’s COVID-19 Recovery Webpage.
The Federal Transit Administration awarded CSPDC a $1.2 million Bus and Bus Facilities Discretionary Grant to rehabilitate the BRITE Transit Hub at 240 North Lewis Street in downtown Staunton. The federal grant is matched with state and local transit funds, and will rebuild the surface parking lot with a concrete bus lane, defined parking, ADA sidewalks and a passenger boarding area with shelters and safety lighting. CSPDC will also coordinate with public and private partners to install 4 electric vehicle charging stations on the lot. The PDC anticipates construction of the new Hub in 2023.
On April 1st, the CSPDC was awarded a $200,000 Community Impact Grant to complete a regional housing study from Virginia Housing. The study process will begin immediately, concluding in spring 2024. The first year of the study will focus on data gathering and analysis and stakeholder engagement, and will result in an interim data report. In year two, the CSPDC will work to develop regional, partner-based, locality-specific recommendations and strategies.
The CSPDC will be working with the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR), the Commonwealth’s official housing research agency, to complete the study. VCHR has a successful track record of analyzing regional housing data, and has led several PDC-wide housing studies. VCHR’s strategies and recommendations will be developed in partnership with HousingForward Virginia, a statewide housing policy and research agency.
To begin the study process, the CSPDC and VCHR will be holding a series of kick off meetings with local government staff over the next month, where VCHR will introduce the housing study scope and garner feedback about what local government staff would like to see from the study results. For questions about the housing study, contact Olivia Raines at firstname.lastname@example.org.