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Gloucester board to hold 3 hearings Tuesday

The Gloucester Board of Supervisors is headed back to the virtual meeting format due to Gov. Ralph Northam’s recent limitations on in-person gatherings. Tuesday’s meeting will be held at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on Cox channel 48 and on

Three public hearings will be held during the meeting, including one on the real estate tax rate. It was reported that the board would be holding the public hearing on the advertised increase to the real estate tax rate caused by the increased value of property in Gloucester.

When making the budget for fiscal year 2021, the board leveraged the budget on the real estate tax, agreeing to keep the tax rate at $0.695 per $100 instead of lowering it to $0.659 to adjust for an increase in the value of real estate. In other words, even though the rate didn’t change, the increased value of real estate will cause an increase in revenue, which means it must be advertised as an increase. If the rate had been adjusted, it would have resulted in the same amount of real estate tax revenue as the previous year.

The two other public hearings are from the planning commission; both are for the consideration for solar farms to be constructed at two locations. The first would be built on Nursery Lane on Route 17 and the second would be on Foster Road off Route 14.

Regular agenda

The board will discuss and decide on the tower lease agreement between Verizon Wireless and Gloucester County. Back in July, the board held a public hearing on an offer from Verizon to place equipment on the Bellehaven Drive water tower and Beehive Drive cell tower. Then the board decided that the county should negotiate further to get a deal that they felt was closer to market value.

 The board will also discuss the amendment on the county’s subdivision ordinance regarding family transfers. After a public hearing on Nov. 4, the board decided that the amendment presented to them should be changed to remove all holding periods for family transfers instead of the recommended two years.

 Another agenda item of note is the resolution in opposition to any legislative efforts to repeal or limit the judicial doctrine of qualified immunity that will be presented by Gloucester County Sheriff Darrel Warren and board member Ashley Chriscoe.

Qualified immunity protects officers from lawsuits that are deemed vengeful or frivolous for doing their job. The resolution claims that limitations on qualified immunity may affect how effective officers can be on duty.