The City of Williamsburg launched the “Williamsburg Open Forum,” an online outlet for citizens to express their opinions on the direction of the city, Sept. 15.
Every two years, the City of Williamsburg releases its “Biennial Goals, Initiatives and Outcomes” — a list of specific objectives the city hopes to accomplish within each two-year period. This process, which commenced Aug. 5 with the release of the accomplishments of the 2009-2010 set of goals, continues until mid-November, when the next set of GIOs will be published.
“Citizen involvement is a key part of the process, and although we have many methods of gathering and exchanging opinions — council meetings and work sessions, e-mail and personal contact — we wanted to offer an opportunity for residents who prefer making their statement on their own schedule,” Williamsburg City Manager Jack Tuttle said in a press release.
On Oct. 11, the city plans to hold an open meeting to review the draft of the 2010-2011 biennial goals, and on Nov. 12, the GIOs will be officially adopted by the city.
The final assessment of the 2009-2010 GIOs, published in early August, outlined nine goals, split into 69 different initiatives.
The goals covered topics such as city transportation, public safety and education, along with more abstract areas such as the “Character of the City.”
The updated version of the GIOs includes reports on the progress made since their adoption in 2008. Also included in the report is a series of citizen surveys, ranking the perceived progress of such projects.
In addition to city-wide goals such as improving tourism and promoting economic growth, the city outlined several objectives related to the College of William and Mary.
The 2008 document contained language saying the city planned to improve compliance with zoning regulations concerning the number of unrelated residents in a home.
This initiative prompted last year’s revision of the three-person rule to allow four people to occupy the same house as long as certain requirements were met.
The GIOs outlined a plan to improve relationships between students, the city government and year-round residents, which the document said was met by the creation of the Student Resident Guide, the city’s Facebook page and meetings with student leaders.
Among the other achievements listed in these areas was the planning for the construction of the Tribe Square project next to Wawa. The building, when completed, will feature 10,000-square feet of restaurant and retail space, along with 14 student apartments.
The GIOs also listed the completion of a Domino’s Pizza on Richmond Road and the planned retail space adjacent to Paul’s Deli as examples of “Student Oriented Retail” — a goal set forth in the 2008 GIOs.