Hanover Ignores Citizen Intent

Letter to the Editor – RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH (2/15/07)

The recent articles concerning growth in the Richmond area, and particularly Hanover County, are quite disturbing. Doug Boardman’s recent Op/Ed column highlighted Hanover’s lack of desire to let citizens participate in the formulation of a new Comprehensive Plan. This expressed the frustration of most Hanover citizens, including myself.

I was bemused to read Harold Padgett’s Op/Ed column on his version of how the Hanover Comprehensive Plan update went from his, and I assume, the Planning Commission’s point of view. It seems as if he and I attended different workshops. Essentially, the plan sent to our Board of Supervisors is the same that the Clarion Consultant group, along with McKinney and Associates, presented without any public input. In fact, just about all of the public criticism and input was ignored by the Planning Commission.

The commission’s January hearing on the proposed Comprehensive Plan was a standing room only plea by the citizens to not enact this badly flawed plan. The Planning Commission does not listen to the public — it forwarded the consultants’ plan on to the Board of Supervisors with a unanimous vote.

Thank you for providing coverage on the these issues in Hanover. The public must be informed in order to act regarding this closed process that will dramatically change Hanover and the region’s future. If you don’t think it will have an impact, imagine Roanoke moving to the Atlee/Elmont Interchange.

W. Wingfield, Ashland

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4 Responses

  1. Sadly, it seems I’m the only one reading these!

    I was wondering how the meeting went? How many people, discussions, progress and so on. I plan to attend the school next school meeting here in Mechanicsville on Thursday.

    I have to say that I am worried about the lack of info out to the public. If you do not visit either web site, one would never hear about the meetings. The very occasional comment/Letter to the Editor in the Mechanicsville Local is not enough and seems to never have anything about meetings.

    And with the cut off for registration at the County Registrars Office for candidates getting closer, “April”, I feel the Supervisors are just leading the residents along with a carrot until the Deadline for candidates is past and then they will pull the rug out from under us. “Once Again”! I just don’t see any sense of urgency.

    Last November I called the Richmond Democrat Headquarters and asked if they were even in the race for Cantors position since I had not heard a thing here. did not even find out there was a Democrat group in Hanover. The only signs I ever saw was a few for Cantor.

    I tried for 18 months to discuss my problem with my property with the Board and Jack Ward. Everyone who has been to my house will tell you what the Board did and the Planning department makes no sense, no logic behind it, any and all science was completely ignored, and the end result served no one but the Developer!

    This Board has no Honor and in the light of now logic at all one has to deduce, these guys are Bought! There just is no other explanation! Talking with these gentlemen is, I know, the polite thing to do. But when nothing seems to be getting through….well the only option is the one the one the founders put in place, VOTE THEM OUT!

    But if the word does not get out to the people of Hanover County, of which I bet 75% have never seen either of the web sites, then all is lost. I still believe that the truth will always prevail but it has to get out there. THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRAT / REPUBLICAN thing! Really, it isn’t and I believe that people will vote either way depending on the circumstances and that these circumstances weigh in favor of a change. Just like last November, the job isn’t done yet, it was just a beginning. And if the Representatives and the Local politicians didn’t get the message, then we need to send it again, even louder!

    Ronald L. Noe

  2. I attended the Comp Plan “Work Session” at Patrick Henry High School and it was deja vu! The meeting was well attended, perhaps 100 or so residents, but the format and cafeteria settings were terrible! Unlike last fall’s workshops hosted by the PC, the BoS did have a P.A. system set-up. Still, it was hard to hear over the din of the vending machines lining one side of the cafeteria and the chatter from the crowd. After the pledge of allegience was said, Setliffe explained the format for the evening’s “work session.” At that point, a wise woman rose to suggest that we DON’T split into three groups and stick together. Setliffe said no and admonished the woman for not offering an alternative format earlier in the week when they had apparently held a meeting. It was at that point that another citizen stood up and asked if we could not vote on the format for the evening and a gentleman stepped up and said, “I would like to make a motion…” Well, all for not because, like prior work session, the BoS and PC CONTROL the entire evening adn thus the discourse. Citizens were allowded to ask questions on notecards – all of the questions/concerns weree read aloud by the second part of the meeting. By then, many residents had left already, in frustration. It was a poorly planned format and the County should be ashamed. I had no idea that the county’s attorney was also a professional planner (?!) because he was tag-teaming with John Hodges, as they explained how/why their flawed planning assumptions created this horrific expansion of the SSA!

    On March 3rd, the Hanover Democratic Party is holding a pancake b’fast at 9 a.m. at Ashcreek Recreation Center (10854 Linderwood Dr., M’ville). I heard that candidates are going to be announced.

  3. The February 20 and 22 Comp Plan citizen workshops at Patrick Henry and Lee-Davis High Schools were completely bogus. They were yet another opportunity for Hanover officials to pontificate about the flimsy planning assumptions. They didn’t genuinely want input from Hanover residents. A green infrastructure map created and distributed by two astute citizens showed various resource overlays–valuable considerations to be taken into account BEFORE development occurs. The map got a response typical of this whole update process: treat the citizens as if they are misinformed or delusional. This patronizing attitude really rankles.

  4. Perhaps the goal of Hanover’s brand of county government is disempowerment…those two, astute citizens who created the green infrastructure map should be paid $200,000….

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