Federation Of Community Associations For Land Use
MIDCO has partnered with the Lake-Ridge Occoquan Coles Civic Association (LOCCA), the Neabsco Action Alliance (NAA), and the Prince William Conservation Alliance (PWCA) to form an umbrella organization that the groups can join together under to advocate for common goals and to keep abreast of issues that each group is following.
The first issue taken up under the FOCAL umbrella was an initiative to urge the Prince William County Government to provide better access to citizens in the land use process. Specifically targeted was the site plan process. The site plan is the actual guide for the developer and their employees on how the project development is to proceed, from earth disturbance to tree removal to building placement to stream protection and on and on. Conditions in the site plan can be quite different from what was presented at the public hearing due to various updates and the only way for citizens to know is to go in person to the McCoart building and look them up. FOCAL is asking for the site plans to be available on the county website. FOCAL is also requesting that individual department reports, such as the transportation report, be available on the county website for public viewing. Resolution of this situation is being delayed due to county budget considerations, with a solution anticipated in the 2013 time frame at the latest.
The next issue taken up was the increasingly used board practice of making substantive changes to such things as Comprehensive Plan language at public hearings with no advance public notice. FOCAL realizes that the board has to have the flexibility to make adjustments such as minor proffer changes at board meetings, but more substantive changes to documents such as the Comprehensive Plan should always be available to the public for at least three working days prior to the public hearing. FOCAL has petitioned the county on the issue and is working with them on a solution.