PHWS Planning Curriculum
The headlines tell the story (links below):
Communities throughout the United States are struggling to balance the quality of life with economic growth. Perhaps nowhere is that struggle more acute than in West Virginia's Potomac Headwaters region. Growth is coming, rapidly, and each county is trying to find the right solution for its residents - but there are probably as many perspectives on what is "right" as there are people thinking about it.
How do you describe the challenges faced by government officials charged with shaping our future? That is, in large part, what our elected officials do - their decisions determine what our future will look like. In West Virginia's Potomac Highlands region, those officials are county commissioners, planning commissions, county planners, and multi-county development authorities like Region 8.
In Decision Matrix, you play the part of a newly hired county planner whose very first assignment is to produce a ten-year county plan to encourage economic growth while preserving the well-being of the county and conserving the county's essential water resources. In a few months, you will present your plan on ďThe Future of Mountain CountyĒ to the public. No pressure!
Read an overview of Decision Matrix, and all game background text here.
Decision Matrix can be entered through the blackboard of the High School. If, after playing the game, you want to post your version of an outcome, you can enter it in the form below. Submittals will be reviewed by the webmaster, and those that are serious attempts to engage the issues, or really funny, will periodically be posted here (link not yet active).
General Development and Growth Information
WV Law on Planning. Here are the rules as they appear on the WV books today.
West Virginiaís Economic Development website: committed to opening our doors for business by providing the assistance, services and information you need to live and work in West Virginia. Click here.
The mission of the Region 8 Planning and Development Council to obtain the maximum level of economic and community development in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia through development, planning and by assisting local governments and businesses implement projects and programs." Click here.
Hampshire County, WV Development Authority. Steeped in tradition and prepared for transition, Hampshire County brings to the marketplace the perfect package for business opportunity and relocation. Located close to the Eastern metropolitan corridor, yet far enough away to offer the quality of life companies choose, Hampshire County provides your business perks not found just anywhere. We are within commuting distance of major markets. We provide the infrastructure to help business grow. We are centered in the most beautiful, natural area on the East coast. And most importantly, our people, harboring strong ties to tradition, are willing to help you make this transition. Click here.
Jefferson County Development Authority. Located in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, Jefferson County has it all! A pro-business attitude, certified business sites, and an unsurpassed quality of life, combined with a lower cost of doing business relative to the adjacent metropolitan areas, make Jefferson County an ideal location for almost any company. We invite you to take a closer look at what we can offer to your business. Click here.
Berkley County Development Authority. A few years ago, Berkeley County and the state of West Virginia set forth an aggressive campaign to attract new business to the area and to support existing firms. Berkeley County's strategic location and quick access to a full range of major transportation facilities has resulted in Berkeley County becoming a prime location for industry. Click here.
Eben Fodor's Twelve Big Myths About Growth. ""We need to bring in business to bring down taxes. This development will give us jobs. Environmental protection will hurt the economy. Growth is good for us." If we've heard those arguments once, we've heard them a thousand times, stated with utmost certainty and without slightest evidence. That's because there is no evidence. Or rather, there is plenty of evidence, most of which disproves deeply held pro-growth beliefs." Click here for more.
Center for Watershed Protection Founded in 1992, the Center for Watershed Protection is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation that provides local governments, activists, and watershed organizations around the country with the technical tools for protecting some of the nationís most precious natural resources: our streams, lakes and rivers. The Center has developed and disseminated a multi-disciplinary strategy to watershed protection that encompasses watershed planning, watershed restoration, stormwater management, watershed research, better site design, education and outreach, and watershed training. Click here.
The Conservation Fundís Freshwater Institute combines applied research, engineering design, and economic development strategies to demonstrate a new vision of conservation that achieves a balance between economic growth and environmental goals. Click here.
Potomac Conservancy conducts a comprehensive land protection program; develops and implements a variety of land and water restoration projects; provides counseling and other conservation support services for more than 70 other land trusts across four states and the District of Columbia; provides meaningful, hands-on volunteer and education programs for adults and young people to foster a stewardship ethic; and partners with other land trusts, conservation organizations, and local, state, and federal agencies to more efficiently and expeditiously achieve land protection and restoration goals. Click here.
Assessing the Impacts of Development Choices. by Linda Hollis, AICP, Douglas Porter, AICP, and Holly Stallworth, Ph.D. April 1997. This paper presents an overview of current methods and measures for evaluating the potential impacts of land use patterns. It is written to assist the Governorís Commission for a Sustainable South Florida (GCSSF), and particularly its "Full-Cost Accounting Committee," in understanding the state of the practice, for consideration of quantitative and qualitative costs and benefits that may be associated with future development in the Eastward Ho! area. Click here.
Development Impacts on Water
Impacts of Development on Waterways. Short summary of the specific impacts development has on water quality and quantity.
Growth & Water Resources
USEPA. Thoughtful community land use planning and development are critical components in maintaining and restoring Americaís streams, lakes, wetlands, estuaries, and aquifers. If not carefully planned, land development projects can adversely impact water quality and supply. Click here.
Ecologically-Based design for Growth and Development. Developed lands provide a significant source of pollution to the waterways that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. Click here.
Smart Growth is Smart Business: Business Leaders Work to Preserve Vermontís Rural Character
NALGEP Newsflash 10/08/03. The Vermont Business Roundtable, a non-profit coalition of 108 CEOs from the stateís most active private industries, is leading an effort to prevent erosion of the stateís rural character. Click here.
COMMENTARY: What the Heck Is Smart Growth? By: Bill King, Chief Editor, 7/1/1999. Smart Growth appears to be different things to different people. Before we get too far down the road, we ought to reach a common understanding of what it is so that weíll know which side to be on. Click here.
Houses, resorts planned for North Woods. By Beth Daley, Globe Staff | April 5, 2005. GREENVILLE, Maine -- The land rush is officially on for the North Woods. Click here.
"Land Rush: Public officials compete with builders to grab the green." This article explores the conflicts between preserving green space, developer issues, landowner rights, and the law. Click here.
Farmland Protection and Tourism
West Virginia Farmland Protection Website provides information about the West Virginia Voluntary Farmland Protection Act, counties participating through the formation of Farmland Protection Boards and the State Authority authorized under the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Click here.
Farmland Protection Board Submits First Applications. By Dick Hughes Special to Moorefield Examiner
The Hardy County Farmland Protection Board has submitted its first applications in a federal and county program to protect prime agricultural land in perpetuity. Click here for more.
USDA- Farmland Protection Program Click here.
State Farmland Protection Statutes Click here.
American Farmland Trust: How to save farmland. Click here.
Agricultural Tourism. Click here for a business management guide to "Entertainment Farming and Agri-tourism." Click here for a resource economist's perspective on why county and regional development groups might incorporate agritourism into their community economic development plans, and here for a list of additional resources.
The US EPA on many aspects of stormwater management for golf courses. Click here.
Your Piece of the Planet: Golf course water use must be considered. By Kim Hosen, Prince William Conservation Alliance Gainesville Times, 12/05/2003. A recent Maryland study showed that on average 23 percent of the annual rainfall (43 inches) soaks into the ground. This recharges the groundwater supply with about 250,000 gallons of rainwater per acre per year. In western Prince William, new residential and commercial development is rapidly converting fields, forests and wetlands to houses, parking lots and roads. Click here.
Water conservation plans require constant evaluation. From Golf Course News. Click here.
Future Directions for Golf Course Water Use Regulation: A Regulator's Perspective. The future of golf course water use and regulation in one of the nation's highest ET use areas. By Cindy Shimokusu. Click here.
Water Saving Tips for Golf Courses and Industrial Landscapes. MD Department of the Environment. Click here.
Riparian Buffers: What they are and how they work. This excellent discussion comes from the good folks at North Carolina State University.
Understanding the Science Behind Riparian Forest Buffers: Effects on Water Quality. Author: Julia C. Klapproth, Faculty Assistant-Natural Resources, Maryland Cooperative Extension; James E. Johnson, Extension Forestry Specialist, College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech.
Installing buffers to protect water supplies. In order to protect New York City's water supply, the City, New York State and the USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) are picking up all the costs necessary to implement a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the Catskill and Delaware watersheds of the New York City drinking water supply system. These watersheds furnish most of the 1.34 billion gallons of water used daily by the New York City system, which serves 9 million city and regional residents. By installing buffers and protecting erodeable land throughout the Catskill/ Delaware watersheds, they hope to avoid construction of a water filtration plant costing an estimated $6 billion. The project will also provide valuable habitat for endangered Wildlife and native cold water fish. Click here and here to learn more.
Sandstone quarry permit denied in Pocohontas County. "The Surface Mine Board agreed with DEP and germane citizensí wishes to deny the permit. As proposed, the quarry would have too much impact on tourism, trout fishing in Knapps Creek, water supplies and future interests of the area." To learn more click here and here.