Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rockingham Board of Sprawl

After a few months of holding out the Rockingham Board of Supervisors caved in last night. They approved the rezoning of 280 acres of land on Pleasant Valley Road for the construction of more McMansions. These little monuments to sprawl will sit on 1- 4 acre lots and join the approximately 23 month supply of McMansions currently on the local market.

What kind of crazy gambler would develop these +$500,000 homes in a recession? Surely the Pleasant Valley Partners have noticed that their little plantation was just downwind of the County landfill?

"I think that we got the best use for that land that we could get at this time" said Board member Dee Floyd.

What's your hurry grandpa, we've got a two year supply of +$400,000 homes in Rockingham, a hole in our school budget, no money for road improvements, and some of the most beautiful open space in all of Virginia. How about you boys on the Board start looking after the rest of the citizens of Rockingham, you know the folks that have to pay for this speculation and sprawl with ever-more of their tax dollars.


The VP said...

Was there some sort of time constraint here? Saying that it was "the best use...we could get at the time," sounds like a cop out for what he knew would be an unpopular or distasteful vote. (at the very least you could call it bad timing considering the economy)although I can't imagine that the developers would move on this anytime soon unless knowing that these homes may go unsold for some time.

Who are these developers targeting at that end of town? Its not exactly affluent country if you know what I mean.

Tad said...

This decision will open all areas outside the urban growth areas to potential development. Me too will be the call from the development community and the hammer will fall on farming community once the economy picks up.

Bubby said...

The County Comprehensive Plan details development of the area in +40 years, so no water lines were available.

Five guys had a bunch of pasture, wanted to make some money and knew that the Health Department would want 1 acre lot minimums to approve water wells.

This is not what the County wanted here, and it is a poor development concept. But in Rockingham County there is no courage for enforcing the Comprehensive Plan.

Taxpayers will one day be asked to run water lines to these lots as part of a "health emergency", or rather, when they start drinking one-another's septic water. Very upscale huh?

The VP said... I know. Once again, the more things change...the more they stay the same.....

Tad said...

The developers of this piece of property waited for the county/hospital to put water and sewer lines through this property for the new hospital before asking for the rezoning. I would say this is the definition of a parasite.

Scott Rogers said...

"The developers of this piece of property waited for the county/hospital to put water and sewer lines through this property for the new hospital before asking for the rezoning."

The existence of the water/sewer lines likely made it an easier sell to the Board of Supervisors, because they want to keep most new development on public water/sewer.

Interestingly, asking for the re-zoning now was probably the best move for the developers. If they waited until that segment of the market picked up, their request would likely be amidst several other re-zoning requests and it might be less likely to be approved. As it stands, it is one of very few re-zoning requests (of this scale).

I imagine the developers will now just sit on the land for a while --- or take their time installing the infrastructure (water, sewer, roads, etc).