Neighbors in Hanover County will be speaking out about changes to the county's land usage plan, Thursday evening, during a community meeting. County administrators are encouraging more growth.
The area by Route 1 and Cedar Lane is one of three areas that would be targeted. Revisions to the county's comprehensive plan would allow for more commercial businesses, and different types of housing, like apartments. This has some people in the neighborhood concerned.
"It's not good for us," said Georgiana Lutz, who lives in the Elmont community.
Lutz has lived in the area for 13 years with her husband and young children. The proposed changes to the land use would require businesses to be built along with any new housing, in the specified areas. As it stands now, housing and business could be built separately. The changes would require any future housing to be accompanied by some commercial real estate. The housing allowed would also be expanded to include more opportunity for apartments.
"The housing property is just going to go down," theorized Lutz.
Neighbors have already sounded off at several public meetings on the issue. A sign erected near Cedar Lane warns people about the potential for "condos and commercial buildings."
"I'm for expansion, for small business…but I would like to see what's coming before it's put out there on us," said Cedar Lane resident Thomas Agnew.
The county's planning director, David Maloney, says the extra tax dollars would help pay for needed services.
"The (Board of Supervisors) is expressing interest in making sure we have a balanced tax base to support the various services- schools, roads and so forth," said Maloney.
Maloney says, like many counties across the country, Hanover County has seen a declining budget due to the tough economic times. He also says that most of Hanover will remain scenic.
"Nearly 80 percent (of the county) is shown for rural development, low density, so people can have their horses and their farms," explained Maloney.
Regardless, much of the community will still have to be convinced.
"There's going to be a lot of people, car traffic…school traffic, too. So, I'm not for it," said Lutz.
The changes are just proposals at this point. Any revisions would have to be approved by the county's Board of Supervisors.
A community meeting on the proposed changes is scheduled for tonight, at 7 p.m., at Elmont Elementary School.
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