Author: Harrison Horst
Two visions about the future of housing in Harrisonburg have been colliding in a neighborhood tucked between JMU’s ever expanding East Campus and the heavily-traveled Port Republic Road corridor.
As Harrisonburg continues its experiment with how to regulate Airbnb properties and other short-term rentals, the planning commission — and city council — are now wrestling with how to fairly decide who gets a permit and how to do so efficiently and with the fewest unintended consequences.
On Wednesday evening, several dozen gathered downtown to get into the weeds of the city’s latest push to go green. It’s an effort that will be guided by an Environmental Action Plan (EAP), a sustainability roadmap being developed by city staff along with the city’s appointed Environmental Performance Standards Advisory Committee (EPSAC).
The most recent planning commission agenda packet – containing a first batch of short-term rental special use permit applications – was so large that it broke the city website, eventually had to be uploaded in three parts, and pushed the commission’s meeting well past midnight.
According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, Harrisonburg’s population would have shrunk last year had it not been for international immigration. Instead, the report says, the city was one of nine localities in the state to realize a population increase – quite small, in Harrisonburg’s case – driven entirely by immigration.
Tricky negotiations on city schools’ solar project near resolution, though total size now significantly smaller
A high-profile solar project put forth by the Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) is one step closer to being finalized after a months-long, three-way dance between the school board, solar developer Secure Futures, and the Harrisonburg Electric Commission (HEC).
With solar energy growing quickly in the city (and soon to take another leap, if the school board has its way), an effort is underway to document and map every installation in the city. The 2019 Harrisonburg Solar Census launched on March 30 and will make the information it gathers accessible to the public.
With one nat’l championship in hand and a shot at another, JMU teams successfully ride growing e-sports wave.
On a Friday afternoon, six members of the James Madison University Overwatch team gather around a TV screen, watching tape from a “scrim session” – gamerspeak for scrimmage – earlier in the week. “Look where we are right now. We’re really far back,” says Mark “Sanity” Johnson, the team captain, pointing at the screen. “We should be here right now.”