The Community Development Department manages community growth through economic development and industrial recruitment, planning & zoning, community building and recreation.
The office oversees revitalization and economic development projects, community
planning and zoning, mapping and Geographic Information Services, and economic development and tourism activities. This three-person department is responsible for facilities direction of Mary Bethune and Mary Elizabeth Parks, Gilley's Park, Celeste Park (currently under development), the Farmers' Market, the Community & Hospitality Center (old train depot), and the Harvester Performance Center, recently voted Southwest Virginia's best music venue by Virginia Living Magazine.
Community Development facilitates Town citizen participation in the processes involved with maintaining quality neighborhoods and affordable living. Department staff works closely with citizens to guide them through planning and zoning processes which are vital to the health, safety, and welfare of the Town and its citizens. The Department also provides staff support to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Economic Development Authority, Franklin County Veterans' Memorial Commission, Beautification & Urban Design (BUD) Commission and a variety of other committees as appropriate.
The Community Development Department also seeks to facilitate economic development in the community by encouraging growth of small businesses, recruiting other commercial ventures and industries, marketing community assets, and working closely with the County of Franklin and other business-support organizations such as the Retail Merchants' Association and the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce to attract and retain commercial development.
The Department led the development of the Harvester Performance Center, which won the 2014 Virginia Municipal League President's Award (pictured) as the best municipal project in Virginia for localities of any size.