Survey: Northampton County on Wrong Economic Track

Cape Charles Wave

August 21, 2012

What do the people of Northampton County want for the future?


That’s according to two public surveys. One was done by the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, which telephoned 350 local residents. The other  was by the County Planning Commission, involving 221 residents in an extensive public meeting process.

“Some of the main messages are not dissimilar,” said Sandra Benson Thornton, Northampton County Director of Planning and Zoning and head staffer for both projects.

But the methods and objectives of the two groups are very different. The Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) began their process with the assumption that the County “was on the wrong track” in its planning and zoning process, and set out to prove it.

“It’s accurate to say they started with that assumption,” said Thornton. “I think they felt there were major issues that need correcting. They felt [the public meetings] didn’t draw from a broad enough representation of the population, and the input didn’t accurately reflect the feelings of the citizens and property owners.”

The CPAC telephone survey was funded by the National Association of Realtors. Its first goal was “to obtain community input on future land uses preferences for use in updating the Comprehensive plan.” [Read more…]