Planners Looking for Ways to Deal With Lynchburg's Increasing Population

Lynchburg, VA - By the year 2030, the City of Lynchburg is expecting the population to increase by nearly 7,000.

The city is updating its Comprehensive Plan as a result.

"With growth comes issues," said City Planner Tom Martin.

The biggest issue is where to put the new residents, and how to afford the additional infrastructure that may be needed to handle the population increase.

As City Planner, Martin is responsible for making sure the city's comprehensive plan gets updated.

"One thing is for certain, the city is 50 square miles and we're going to have to deal with that population growth within the city limits," Martin said.

Many who came out to a Community Workshop on the issue Wednesday say they are excited for the growth, but don't want to lose any of our parks and recreation areas.

Sally Schneider lives in the city and has one idea.

"We need to use particularly our old buildings because a lot of them are up and we need to get people investing in those and people then investing in living in those areas and then all of that can go out," Schneider said.

Another concern, however, is cost.

"We need to make certain that the cost for all this growth is not on the back of the residential real estate owners because that would tend to drive people out to the county," said Planning Consultant Michael Chandler.

Even though residents who live in apartments don't pay a real estate tax, Martin says they are a benefit to the city in other ways.

"The apartment dwellers may not pay a real estate tax, but they do shop and spend their dollars in the city," Martin said.