By Lon Anderson
Special to the Moorefield Examiner
Three land planning officials from Hardy County recently attended a state land planning conference, and one of them, County Planner Melissa Scott, spoke to the conference on the challenges of implementing comprehensive plans for land use.
County Planning Commission president Lee Lehman, vice president Greg Greenwalt, and Scott attended the two-day Mountain State Land Use Academy’s 2nd Annual Statewide Conference held May 2 – 3 at the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, W.Va.
The conference is growing every year, noted Scott, who said that about 100 attended and it is helping to grow understanding about the need for more planning throughout the state. She was honored at last year’s conference for her success in getting an updated Comprehensive Plan enacted in Hardy County.
Both Lehman and Scott referred to the strong keynote address delivered by Ohio State University Professor Peggy Kirk Hall that focused on issues involving land use in rural areas. “I thought it was really good that Hardy County is already doing much of what she discussed,” Scott said.
Lehman said her message about the need for rural communities to diversify their offerings, especially in agriculture and tourism areas really hit home with him.
Scott concurred, noting that one of the strong messages in the keynote address was that developing niche markets and diversification were very important in helping rural communities to increase their vitality.