Letter: Overlay district should be modified, not eliminated
I would like to make a number of observations regarding Supervisor At Large Meyer’s June 26 letter to the editor (“Good intentions don’t always produce good results”).
First, Mr. Meyer reaches the conclusion that the HCOD not only did not attract new businesses to Route 17 but in fact implies that it was responsible for the loss of 84 businesses in 2012-2013! He offers no factual basis for this implication and does not offer the consideration that some or all of the loss of business may have been due to the failing economy during that period or other business issues.
He then suggests that the “10-mile eyesore” of the current Route 17 resulted because the HCOD didn’t attract enough new businesses to eliminate this condition (without consideration of how many new businesses would have had to be built in the last 16 years to accomplish this end goal). He further neglects the future appearance of Route 17 if the ordinance is changed now which would result in a hodgepodge of appearance with ”grandfathered structures,” current HCOD compliant structures and post-2014 structures built to no setback or landscaping provisions.
Lastly, he ignores the significantly modified HCOD proposal submitted by the Gloucester Planning Commission in response to the BOS request, that eliminates side and rear property setbacks, reduces landscaping requirements and only maintains a 50-foot front setback from Route 17 vis-à-vis one supervisor’s suggestion that there should be “zero” front setback.
I suggest that readers view the video recording of the June 5, 2014 joint supervisor/planning commission meeting which in my opinion results in the conclusion that the HCOD needs to be modified but not eliminated.
Mr. Meyer and the other supervisors each have one vote to decide this issue. The BOS decision will have a significant impact on the appearance of Route 17 for the future. Obviously I support the planning commission’s reasoned and thorough proposal. I and the rest of the citizens of the county only have our voices which need to be heard by our representatives on the board.
We don’t get an opportunity like this very often to make an impact on the future of the county so make your opinion known.