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2012-01-04 / Opinions

Brandermill residents take issue with roundabout sign

It seems that the Brandermill sign debacle is perhaps a case of “sign-is-envy” with the Hull Street [Road] sign of that other big waterfront community on the reservoir (“it who must not be named”). If the sign is to be removed, the board should  give Brandermill residents the opportunity to suggest exactly what the association can do with it. One possibility is to sell it (at half price, of course) to someone for use as a for-rent floating party island off Sunday Park.

Bob Goldman
Midlothian

As a resident of Brandermill and Chesterfield, I am completely and utterly outraged at the monstrous sign that the Brandermill Community

Association erected at the roundabout on Old Hundred Road. First of all, the sign was totally unnecessary. Secondly, it is in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s right of way and not on BCA property, and they have the gall to thumb their noses at the county. They just acted on their own without consulting county planners.

The decision, as I understand it, was a unanimous decision of the board. If this is the case, then these board members are just as bad as the Washington politicians in that they surely know the ropes in wasting money. It was a total waste of money. Now I can understand why the BCA wants to raise our fees.

I think all members of the BCA board should resign, and new members be elected that will have more sense than a gnat. The board should also [take] out of their own pockets the money that was spent to erect it and remove it.

Bryan Duchesne
Midlothian

The BCA did get approval from VDOT and communicated with the county transportation department. Editor

Comprehensive plan

I take exception to the statement [Letters to the Editor, Dec. 24] of Mr. McGarvey “that the job of local government is to do what’s best for all citizens, current and future.”

The role, duty, function, job and responsibility of government at all levels (according to our Declaration of Independence) is to secure the inalienable rights (including property rights) of individuals. The idea that any government could or should do what’s best for all citizens is a subjective pipe-dream.

Let me put it another way. “Every person has the right to live his life [use his property] as he chooses, so long as he does not interfere with the equal rights of others.” I say that government has the duty to protect the rights of the property owner and to protect the rights of affected citizens as well. Current methods of centralized planning and control have a much different agenda.

Tom Schneider
Midlothian

While we appreciate the time Mr. Mc-Garvey has put in and respect his opinion on the [comprehensive] plan, I feel I have to address his letter about the Chester Patriots and our issues with the plan that has been developed. We are not against this plan because we have a belief in some global conspiracy, but because we believe it is not the right plan for the future and will actually make the problems worse in the long run.

To start with I would like to clarify that there are links [between] the United Nations’ Agenda 21 (http://www.un.org/ esa/dsd/agenda21/) and the Renaissance Planning Group. RPG is a member of both the American Planning Association and the Planners Network. At the APA you can find documents such as these (http://www.planning.org/pas/infopackets/subscribers/ pdf/EIP18.pdf), (http://www.planning.org/ divisions/environment/newsletter/2004/pdf/ fall.pdf), and (http://www.planning.org/aicp/ symposium/2009/pdf/schilling.pdf), which make it very clear they support the policies of Agenda 21. Policies that President [Bill] Clinton adopted by Executive Order, and not the ratification of a treaty by the [U.S.] Senate. They were then adopted by Virginia in the law that is the behind this new plan. At the PN you can find their “statement of principles,” which includes “promote the fundamental change in our political and economic systems.”

But those were the reasons why we started looking at the new plan in detail. It is not the primary reason we oppose the plan. We see issues with the property rights of private homeowners in the already established communities.

For example, on page 49 of the markup draft issued in September, you will find under section C, a tree preservation study. This can be as harmless as keeping a buffer zone, or, as in some parts of the county, require you to apply for a permit and get your neighbor’s approval before you cut down a tree on your property. You could then be forced to replace that tree with another specified by your neighbors.

Section X, landscape regulations, includes recommendation regarding native species. Again, this can be harmless or, as I saw on “This Old House,” require a landowner to remove all non-native species from a buffer zone for a remodel.

These things affect existing homeowners, not developers.

Regarding the developers, they can get grants for building the “right type” of development. Just look at section H.4.1.2 on page 88, which could be used to help fund a development like Short Pump, which could be classified as a mixed-used or UDA type of development.

Do we have problems with development in Chesterfield that need to be resolved? Yes, but this plan is just taking the mistakes of the past, putting them in a pretty “green” wrapper and repacking them as something new. What we need for the 21st century is out-of-the-box thinking that respects the property rights of the landowners, allows for flexibility for the future and encapsulates the wisdom of the past.

Frederic L. Boisseau
South Chesterfield

Letters to the editor can be emailed to letters@chesterfieldobserver.com, mailed to P.O. Box 1616, Midlothian, VA 23113, or faxed to 744-3269. Letters should include the writer’s phone number and home address, but neither will be printed. All letters should be limited to less than 500 words and may be edited for clarity or space. For complete guidelines, visit www.chesterfieldobserver. com and click onletters policy.”

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