The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) held its regularly scheduled meeting on April 18, 2019. A summary of actions and discussions that took place at this meeting is provided below:
Regional Flood Insurance Campaign
The HRPDC received a presentation on a Regional Flood Insurance Campaign coordinated by HRPDC staff through the Coastal Resilience Committee with input from other local staff, including Emergency Management and Public Information Officers.
In November 2017, HRPDC staff provided an overview of the flood impacts in Houston, Texas from Hurricane Harvey. This review outlined several issues relevant to Hampton Roads and explored potential planning efforts the region could implement. One specific area of interest to Commissioners, as well as local staff, was a coordinated approach to public outreach on flood risks, particularly focusing on areas where flood insurance is not required.
Based on this direction, a flood insurance outreach campaign was developed along with a web site entitled www.getfloodfluent.org The goals of this outreach campaign include:
The public launch for this program will be as follows:
Regional Construction Standards
The Commission received a presentation on the HRPDC’s Regional Construction Standards. The Hampton Roads communities have collaborated to develop Regional Construction Standards to simplify construction and improve the quality of roads, utilities and other right-of-way improvements in the region. The first edition of HRPDC’s Regional Construction Standards was published in December 1999, and has been regularly updated with the most recent edition published in June 2016.
These standards offer significant advantages to the Hampton Roads region, including the following:
This program is a model example of long-term regional cooperation that supports private industry by aligning standards across localities, and can serve as a model for other regional collaboration efforts.
Overview of Regional Projects/Planning Efforts
The HRPDC/HRTPO Executive Director provided the Commission an update on a series of regional planning projects and infrastructure initiatives that have the potential to increase the economic competitiveness of the Hampton Roads region. These efforts include:
These projects are predominantly funded through a regional gas tax and sales and use tax with these funds managed through the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission. This program of transportation projects rivals that of any metropolitan region in the country.
SWIFT takes highly treated water that would otherwise be discharged into the Elizabeth, James or York rivers and puts it through additional rounds of advanced water treatment to meet drinking water quality standards. The SWIFT Water is then added to the Potomac Aquifer, the primary source of groundwater throughout eastern Virginia.
Several of these regional efforts represent “generational projects” which collectively can compete with regional efforts in any other metropolitan region in the country. Mr. Crum stressed the importance of the region marketing these regional efforts in a positive manner to effectively tell the story of the Hampton Roads region.
The HRPDC also approved a Consent Agenda which included the following items:
The Virginia CDBG Program provides funding to eligible units of local government to address critical community development needs, including housing, infrastructure and economic development. This program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) since 1982. CDBG funds are made available to DHCD by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Each year, the Virginia DHCD requests Planning District Commissions to rank regional priorities for the Virginia CDBG Program and provide a list of anticipated CDBG project proposals from non-entitlement localities. The HRPDC approved the following CDBG priorities for the 2019 program year:
Comprehensive Community Development
Housing – Housing Rehabilitation
Housing – Housing Production Assistance
Economic Development – Job Creation and Retention
Economic Development – Site Redevelopment
Economic Development – Development Readiness
Economic Development – Business District Revitalization
Community Service Facility
Expected 2019 CDBG Proposals from eligible HRPDC non-entitlement localities and the category for each are as follows:
James City County – Housing Preservation: Scattered Site (Housing – Housing Rehabilitation)
City of Franklin – Madison Street Project Phase II (Comprehensive Community Development)
York County – Carver Gardens Rehabilitation Project Phase II (Housing – Housing Rehabilitation)
Isle of Wight County – James River Christian Academy (Comprehensive Community Development)
The VRS administers the Commonwealth of Virginia Voluntary Group Long Term Care Insurance Program, which is underwritten by Genworth Life Insurance Company. The program is employee-paid, and there is no cost to the HRPDC to elect to provide it to its employees. The HRPDC has elected to provide this program to staff as a voluntary benefit.
The next meeting of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission will be held on May 16th at 12:30 pm at the Regional Building located at 723 Woodlake Drive in Chesapeake.