Conservative Viewpoints

"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan



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Waynesboro citizens speak out against development

Posted by Stephen on February 13, 2007

Waynesboro City Counsel held a public hearing Monday night to discuss the possibility of a new subdivision to be built at the request of Hopeman Land Company at the end of Bedford Road in Waynesboro.

City council holds numerous public hearings to entertain possible housing and business growth, but there was something different in the air on this night. On this night the citizens of Waynesboro would be heard loud and clear.

With an attentive City Council looking on, citizen after citizen living on Bedford Road in Waynesboro came forward. Each spoke with great clarity, passion and conviction. It was not an emotional plea for the city to respond, but a rational approach to growth in their back yard that was the topic of concern.

Those that live on Bedford Road spoke of promises made that the land in question on this night would not be touched. The people spoke of a need to preserve the land for wildlife and to protect the tranquility of their neighborhood. There were also specific requests made by these active participants of this process.

First and foremost the potential development in question on Bedford Road would touch on wetlands. Though the developer proposes “moving” the wetlands, more then one citizen was left asking why. One citizen stated that it made no sense to her that the city would entertain moving a wetland from a natural location to a man-made location. “It makes no earthly sense at all,” she shared.

Others shared concerns about the developers desire to get a waiver from building sidewalks. Others still, talked about the ability to walk through the area that is the home of dense greens, trees, and small animal life.

While some, or even all, of these concerns may seem unimportant to those that support the continued growth in the Waynesboro community, what cannot be denied is the impressive nature of an active community prepared to stake a claim on how they want their neighborhood to look and feel.

Development is an important part of a growing, self sustaining community that can create streams of revenue without tax and spend policies. Growth helps create services and amenities enjoyed by all and should be coveted.

However, the stakeholders should have a say in just how the community is to be developed. The more active the citizenry the less a responsive government is relied upon to make such decisions. While some support more growth then others, all citizens should be able to be an active part of such decision so that growth is planned with a focus on the big picture of a community and its needs.

The citizens of Bedford Road recognized an opportunity to be heard. They should be commended for their professional conduct, their ability to articulate their concerns, and most importantly, their ability to come together to determine what is best for their neighborhood. They did not focus on the emotional argument, but on the simple facts regarding pros and cons of building in a location deemed a risk for those that may move there and a greater risk to the quality of life of those that live there today.

The next opportunity to speak on the Bedford Road project will be February 20 at the Waynesboro Planning Commission Meeting to be held in Council Chambers in the Charles T. Yancey Municipal building at 503 West Main Street.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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