Editor’s note: The following came from a public comment session at the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors’ May 23 meeting.
I have just a few comments and questions … about the recently withdrawn megasite rezoning application by the Economic Development Authority.
I know that the county reimbursed the EDA for the $75,000 rezoning application fee. We have never had an explanation as to why that was done. The EDA says the board of supervisors approves all county funds paid to the EDA, so you must have approved this. I believe the citizens of Chesterfield deserve a refund of that $75,000, since the application was withdrawn by the EDA. I would also like to know where the county funds came from in the first place.
We know that you went into closed session this afternoon. We do not know for what purpose. Is there or is there not a plan for the county to purchase the former megasite property, as suggested by the EDA? If so, for what purpose? [Bermuda Advocates for Responsible Development] does not believe the county should do so.
What is the status of the East-West Freeway? Like it or not, this idea was resurrected as a result of the megasite proposal. If still being pursued, what is the timeline and process? With no megasite on the horizon, what is the justification for pursuing the road? By the way, per the comprehensive plan, the east-west freeway is not just a 2 1/2-mile line on a map, but a much longer loop through Matoaca and up to the Powhite Parkway. It seems that the other end would be the logical place to start if there is any need for the road.
Same goes for the Harrowgate School relocation to Harrowgate Park. That proposal would never have been rushed through if not for the megasite proposal. Where is the new park? Will there be one? Where was the community input on that decision? There was none. These types of actions are why the citizens have lost all faith and trust in our county officials.
What is the status of the proposal to revise I-2 and I-3 zoning ordinances and/or the comprehensive plan, in order to fit the wants of the EDA and others? The long-term consequences of any changes should be studied long and hard before any changes are even considered. Making up new definitions of “industrial” to fit the wants of the EDA and Economic Development Department is not a solution. Residents do not want industrial zoning next to residential development.
What is the status of the EDA investigation proposed by Supervisor [Chris]Winslow? We at BARD believe it is a good idea, if done by an independent entity, not by the board of supervisors, who appoints the EDA Board members, and not internally by the county. From the whole [school district’s supplemental retirement plan] fiasco, we have seen how that goes.
Public faith and trust needs restoring. We look to you to address these questions and concerns as a step in that direction. Thank you.