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Guide to filling out the Buckingham Comprehensive Plan Survey

Sep 7, 2023 | Community News, Democracy, Metallic Mining | 0 comments

The County is undergoing review of the Comprehensive Plan, which guides and creates policies for how the County develops. This is an opportunity to make your vision for Buckingham County’s next 5 years very clear and emphatic. The review is overseen by the Planning Commission.  Public input is required, yet a great deal of the public input collected at the only public participation meeting held in June was omitted from this survey.

Take Action

Buckingham residents and landowners, thank you for filling out the survey. You do not need to be a registered voter to fill out this survey. We ask you to work around this sorely deficient survey to add as much of the original, left out public input as possible. Below are our suggestions:

First, take a look at the entire survey here: 

https://forms.gle/sPgZyYQMCA5VGFN69

Below, there are some (5) questions and suggestions to how to respond (in order of how the questions show up in the survey): 

1)  For the question: Name three (3) changes you would like to see in Buckingham County to make it a more livable and enjoyable place for you.

Consider adding the following entire list [to your top 3], as these are many of the concerns and interests expressed at the public input meeting in June – and they are not in the survey. This is a way to work around this faulty survey & give these ideas needed attention.  

Input was given for these categories: PARK – Preserve, Add, Remove, Keep Out.

Preserve:

Public participation, including voting for issues

Biodiversity

Clean water, clean air

Sustainable, regenerative agriculture and forestry

Rural character 

Protect old trees

Night skies – reduce light pollution

Support public schools!! Library

Historic Buildings

Democracy and citizen participation

Ethnic diversity

Public parks, expand existing ones

Agriculture

Activities and safe spaces for youth

Road access/quality

Activities/ safe spaces for youth

Historic buildings

Tire Amnesty Day

Ethnic diversity 

Add:

Require permitting of exploratory drilling for metallic mining

Clean up abandoned metallic mines, superfund site

Encourage community solar

Activities, safe space for kids (Boys and Girls Club)

Encouragement, funding the Arts

Education in trades

Apprenticeship programs

Co-work spaces, resources for entrepreneurs

Health and wellness education

Urgent care facility, rehab/senior facility

Public boat ramps for the James River

Expand the parks

Public trails

Affordable housing 

Expand/revise building codes to include tiny homes

Transportation for underserved populations

Better first responder capability

Tax incentives to conserve/preserve

Used rail cars for new housing.

Remove:

Superfund sites

Waste in abandoned mines

Exploratory drilling without permits

Bullying by corporations

Slumlords

Illegal drugs

Biosolids

Litter on roads

Single use plastics

Kudzu – invasive species

Tires & junk vehicles on private land

Voter intimidation

Keep Out:

New metallic mines  

Crime 

Drugs

Toxic industries

Limit industrial solar

Stop sprawl 

2)  Are you in favor of additional solar development in Buckingham County?

Consider answering yes, with conditions. Write in: 

No more industrial solar. Yes to community solar, for local distribution only. Yes to small projects – less than 5 MW. Yes to appropriate placement: parking lots, roof tops, brownfields. Not on agricultural or forestry land. No to sedimentation & erosion from the bulldozed land.

3)  For the metallic mining question:  

Are you in favor of additional metallic mining development in Buckingham County?

Yes

No

Yes, with Conditions

Unsure/no opinion

If you answered yes with conditions, please list the conditions.

We hope you say: No. AND add this write in, where the survey asks to list conditions: The state legislature needs to direct the Virginia Department of Energy to update their regulations, as recommended by and in accordance with the NASEM 2022 study of the Impacts of Gold Mining in Virginia. The regulations need to be updated for all metallic mining, not just gold mining. The state needs to write a definition for metallic mining. The County needs to create an ordinance that will protect the health, safety and environment and prohibit metallic mining. 

The Comp Plan should add: Strategy 7 –  To protect public health, safety, welfare, and the environment metallic mining is not permitted in the County. 

AND write in: The exception would be to allow mining of any metal on the USGS critical mineral list (which does not include gold, silver). 

Fyi:

https://www.usgs.gov/news/national-news-release/us-geological-survey-releases-2022-list-critical-minerals

4)  Cell Towers:

How do you feel about the amount of cell towers in Buckingham County

There are too many

There are not enough

More are needed

Question for you: Would you want to live near one? If not – perhaps we have enough.

FYI: NIH article on evidence for health risk around mobile cell stations:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35843283/

5)  For the reclamation of abandoned mines:

Are you in favor of reclamation or re-mining of abandoned mines in Buckingham County?
Yes
No
Unsure/no opinion
Yes, with conditions
If you answered yes with conditions, please list the conditions.

Consider answering Yes, with conditions. For reclamation: At the state and local levels require strict and careful regulations and oversight of all reclamation operations to capture and remove toxic waste materials and avoid releasing existing contaminants (mercury, cyanide for example). And permanently neutralize acid mine drainage (AMD).  Federal funding should cover this work.

The Comp Plan should add Strategy 8 – To protect public health, safety, welfare, and the environment, reclamation of abandoned metallic mines may be permitted in the County with appropriate strong and careful regulations. 

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