To the Editor:
Since the vote on January 29, 2020, many in the community have expressed how shocked, disheartened, disappointed, and disturbed they are that the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to rezone historic, rural-residential-agricultural land at the heart of Ebony, Virginia, to become home to yet another Dollar General. Not only is this not a fit for the Ebony area, but also it opens the doors for future commercial development directly alongside Prospect Cemetery/Church – a historic landmark and anchor.
This vote happened despite that 75% of the meeting attendees who filled the room were staunchly against it and mirrored the broader community’s sentiment. Speakers provided substantive comments that showed more significant implications, demonstrating how the new store would harm the community and not be a net benefit to either Ebony or the County as a whole. Most importantly, we showed how approval of this rezoning application would not be compliant with zoning governance enforcement for the County that is legislated in the Code of Virginia and the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors.
From the perspective of the Ebony Preservation Group (EPG), this vote to approve the rezoning application reflected a blatant disregard of land management governance (Zoning Ordinances, 2037 Comprehensive Plan and the Board of Supervisors Vision for 2035) designed to prevent precisely what has been allowed to happen. Legitimate rezoning decisions must consider all impacts and trade-offs. This decision does not; it only accommodates Dollar General with no regard to the negative impacts on the community, and suggests a grim future of the County. In any case, the land use maps do not support any form of Business zoning for the area.
Anne Edwards Hartley and the Ebony Preservation Group
To read the entire letter pick up the Feb. 5, 2020 edition of the Brunswick Times-Gazette.