Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bayberry Estates residents raise concerns, again, about rezoning
The Board of Supervisors didn’t make any decisions last night on the rezoning next to Bayberry Estates, but they heard a lot from residents who oppose it.
Ten residents spoke during the public-comment portion of the meeting. They repeated many of the same concerns raised March 18, that the request by Walnut Hill to rezone 7 acres from agricultural to commercial would bring more traffic, crime and noise to the region.
The operating manager of the development and real estate company is James Jarrell, who also plans to build a subdivision on 128 adjoining acres.
Resident Faron Kendle said the rezoning profits only the developer, not the residents around the property.
Laura Martinez agreed. “It’s not fair that our quality of life should be destroyed because he wants to make money and leave.”
Several citizens repeated that the rezoning should be denied because the Planning Commission—or “your experts,” as David Kenney called them—don’t favor it either. Commissioners had some of the same concerns residents did, wondering what kind of business might be allowed because Jarrell hasn’t specified what it might be.
“There just aren’t enough details now,” said Miguel Martinez. “Are you comfortable just handing out a blank check?”
Diana Snyder reminded the supervisors that residents moved to King George because they don’t want their county turned into another Fredericksburg or Stafford.
“Why do we have to keep moving?” she asked. “Because people come in and they develop, and they leave us with the mess.”
Supervisors didn’t make a decision on the rezoning on March 18, and it wasn’t on last night’s agenda. At the March meeting, Supervisor Dale Sisson Jr. said that he couldn’t favor the rezoning in its current form, but might if it contained more details. Chairman Joe Grzeika then asked Sisson to work with county staff to come up with some restrictions on what kind of business might come to the area or to possible buffers to insulate the neighbors.
Grzeika assured Bayberry residents last night that the rezoning will be addressed in a future meeting, and it will be advertised on the agenda.
“It won’t be something done in the dark of night, I promise you that,” Grzeika said. “I already heard that rumor. We were going to do it as an April Fool’s joke, but didn’t think that would go over too good.”
Members of the audience clapped several times when residents spoke, and they also applauded when Supervisor Ruby Brabo read her prepared remarks. Her district includes Bayberry Estates, and even though the Dahlgren area is targeted for commercial growth, she believes the rezoning should be denied.
Speaking about her fellow members, she said: “There are some who now point to the Comprehensive Plan as a justification for their decisions made even though they go against the wishes of the citizens.”
Brabo said rezoning requests should be granted when the plans are specified in detail and it’s clear that the action benefits the community.