In a somewhat surprising decision, The Hanover County Planning commission denied the proposal for a brand new development project near Route 54 and Woodside road. The denial is pending the removal of plan to shut down a road that leads to an historic church. It was based in part, on the emotional testimony of the people that go to that church.
One by one the members of the Providence Baptist Church rose to express their disapproval and outright rejection of a plan to shut down a road that for more than 100 years has led to their historic church.
Church member George Winston was among them.
"In our opinion, we are doing all the giving and you are doing all the taking."
The county planning department argued that keeping the road open was unsafe. They claim building the development which will bring all kinds of new traffic without closing the roads would lead to trouble. But church members like Ben Tyler say that isn't their problem. "If you are going to close Providence road," Tyler said, "this community does not want that development."
Church members used a variety of different points to strengthen the argument. they evoked history, basic human rights and even race. It seemed to sway to the panel that prior to the meeting seemed compelled to support the plan. Steven P. Trivett urged his fellow commissioners to deny the plan.
"The last thing you want to do is have a landmark and no way of identifying how to get to it anymore."
That lead to a vote of 5-2 to deny the request, but allowing for a new plan to be submitted without the road closure.
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