Monday, February 4, 2008

Olly Olly Outs in Free!

Remember playing "hide-and-go-seek" as a kid? That was what you were supposed to holler to get everyone else back to start all over again. 'Olly-olly-outs-in-freeeee!' In the dusk, crickets chirping, maybe a lightning bug or two hovering nearby...It was interesting to see that call again recently, while poking around on-line. Matt Fuller, of Ohio, had written in to ask where the phrase came from originally. Within his question was a description of the phrase as one used in children’s games to signal that the game is over or that the player has "given up hope of winning. Help would be appreciated.”

Up until a couple of days ago, it sorta felt like everyone was in hiding, as it can this time of year. But then, by chance a couple of locals bumped into each other. As some would say, one was 'ranting' about the very same thing that had been gnawing at the other. Which is Varina...and "what's going on?" This short session spurred'em on, to see who else is out there.

It's been obvious for a while now that the change is going to come. Heck, by the time there's evidence of change, it's pretty much already happened. And there'll be a variety of opinions, just as there is a great variety of people. That, as they say, is what "makes the world go around". But it was nice to be happy to hear someone rant .

So while scanning down the two hundred and thirty-some odd RVaBlogs listed, and the CommunityBlogs among them, it became apparent there wasn't a community blog for Varina, the spark ignited. Here's one, for a start.

A search of the pages of the Henrico County Planning site affords anyone the opportunity to get an idea of what the county has on tap for the future. This spring, public meetings will be held to give residents the chance to become aware of the contents of the "2026 Comprehensive Plan", which is in the 'draft' stages now.

The Comprehensive Plan is made up of three parts:
The Future Land Use Plan, The Major Thoroughfare Plan, and the Parks and Open Space Plan.

The Comp-Plan is updated on a fairly regular basis, bit by bit, by amendments made in public meetings. The current plan, in use now, (as of January 2008) is called the '2010 Plan'. But the time has come for the entire Comp-Plan to be overhauled, and the meetings to occur "this spring" are a way for anyone to get involved, and see what's on the slate.

Here's hoping that this blog can be a place where residents can post ideas, find some answers, and openly voice their opinions. Maybe even without the "hide-and-go-seek" mentality. A bulletin board would be helpful, so you can post community happenings, and what about some local free classified ads?

In the next week or so, Historic Varina will start to post links that will make the public information concerning the current '2010 Plan' and the '2026 Plan (draft)' documents available in one more place. Here. Starting with a series of links in the column to the right, which will each take you directly to Henrico County Planning documents available online through their website.

The County has provided a handy list of frequently asked questions, which explain just what the Comprehensive Plan is. Under that there is a link to save, and check out regularly, to see when the Spring meetings regarding the Comp-Plan are. Following that are a series of links to the current 2010 Plan Land Use Map and Major Thoroughfare Plan Map, which can be compared to the 2026 "draft" versions available below each. Looking at the differences between these plans will give some idea the changes Henrico County has in mind for Varina.

Then, maybe, some open discussions will take place here, prior to the Comp-Plan meetings, and hopefully more and more residents will get an idea of how it works, and what kind of input you can have.

So whether "Olly-Olly" found its start in the English: oyez-oyez, or the Norman: allez-allez, isn't really the question anymore, is it? What it all comes down to now is:

"Come out, come out, where-ever you are ! ! !"


Anonymous said...

I look forward to learning more about this site and how it will help me communicate more with neighbors interested in preserving the historic character of Varina, as I am.

Sprite said...

Thank you, Blog Host H. Cornhill, for setting up this blog---and telling us newbys how to use it. We in Varina do need to come out of the woodwork (or woods, as the case may be) and express our concerns about our future. Understanding the constraints of the future--such as Varina cannot stay completely rural--we can try to figure out, together, in which direction we'd like our county to proceed. I would like to know what others think of the new zoning designation, TND, which stands for Traditional Neighborhood Development. If we are to have this zoning catagory in the center of Varina, do we like the density it allows? The charm and convenience of a turn-of-the-century style neighborhood is appealing, a village that is walkable with business necessities within walking distance. But would there be any farms and fields and woodlands close enough so that we would not feel we lived in a city. The older I get, the more appealing a close, walkable village seems.