I have been accused of being anti-development, which is not true. I believe in managed development, in accordance with the Future Land Use Map and existing zoning. That way people know what to expect when they buy property. If a developer decides to build something that conforms to the law, we have no complaint. I used to think that was what our county commissioners believed, having been through the Comprehensive Planning process and the update of the FLUM.
Until last week.
At Thursday’s board of commissioners meeting, a developer presented a plan for apartments in the middle of single-family neighborhoods. The developer wanted the FLUM and the zoning changed to accommodate his scheme. The Mainland Planning Commission rejected his plan unanimously. The citizens showed up in large numbers, from Somersby Point and Fox Creek, and voiced their objection. They invested in their neighborhoods and lived there happily for many years.
And the BOC did not care. The board of commissioners ignored the taxpayers, their constituents, to favor one developer with a scheme.
The BOC voted to change the FLUM. They voted to change the zoning. And the folks who bought property years ago, confident in their decision, were betrayed by their elected officials.
Meanwhile, the BOC paid $100,000 for a consultant to develop an impact fee ordinance to relieve the taxpayers of the burden of growth, and they have failed to implement that plan.
When you see them, ask commissioners O’Quinn, Neal, Brunson, Fendig and Booker. Why?