The Van Wyck News

Volume 7 Number 12
A Voice for Freedom      5 October 2015
School Board Bond
     The School Board has decided to appoint a Facilities Needs Committee to determine the facilities needs across the School District with the objective of proposing a bond to the voters next spring to fund all these needs.
     At a special meeting of the Board on 22 September the Superintendent, Dr. Gene Moore, pointed out that the Board had made effective use of its authority to issue bonds without voter approval to keep its buildings, some of them older, in excellent shape, with sound roofs and updated HVAC systems. As a result, the Board is in a position to consider a bond issue to fund larger and longer term needs.
     The Board has appointed a Facilities Needs Committee composed of two citizens from each voting district and to charge that Committee with the responsibility for determining the district wide facilities needs to be included in the bond. Members of the Committee are as follows: District 1 - J.R. Wilt, Melvin Stroble; District 2 - Tim Cureton, Lula Mungo; District 3 -  Annette Deese, Lisa Muennich; District 4 - Larry  Durham, Al Ferguson; District 5 - Mandy Phillips, Rick Riggins; District 6 - Mary Gay Taylor; Jimmy Neal, District 7 - Jen Levitch Kiel, Rev. Yvette Pressley. Lisa Muennich has been appointed by the Board of Education to serve as chair of the Committee; Tim Cureton was appointed vice-Chair. The Committee will meet first on 6 October and submit its recommendations to the Board on 8 December.
     The Board will appoint a "Vote Yes Committee" on 15 December composed of five citizens from each voting district. This Committee will be responsible for persuading the voters to pass the bond at the election, which will be scheduled in the end of March - beginning of April 2016 time frame.      

     The County's attitude toward residential development is exemplified by its handling of  Avondale, supposed to be the last development prior to the zoning moratorium intended to serve as a transition between the old and the new UDO. The proposal was a mess, obviously just slapped together to get something in at the last minute. The reaction of the Planning Commission Chair was “Why are we wasting time on this thing?”, which paraphrased my own reaction. The developer held a public meeting in June, presented as a love fest with the community. I attended the public meeting, which was perhaps 100+ people screaming “We don't want and don't need this mess. . . .  “ - not exactly a love fest.  At the 28 September Council meeting, the developer presented an argument that the development would produce $4MM per year in tax revenue, which turned out to be not annual tax revenue at all but some misleading nonsense. The assertion was made that the numbers had been verified with the assessor, who happened to be present and denied all knowledge of any consultation by the developer.
       The overwhelming impression is that the developer is playing some kind of a shell game to sell 730 additional residential units in 179 acres to an extremely gullible County Council. Rather than show the perpetrators of this scam the door and tell them to come back under the new UDO in the spring, County Council, led by Mr. McCullough, sent the proposal back to the Planning Commission to be fixed yet again. This for an additional 730 residential units on top of the 8000 unit backlog that the County doesn't need and neither the schools nor the County can afford. 
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CDC Activities
6 October 2015 - CDC Meeting - 7:30 PM
24 October 2015 - Halloween Party
28 November 2015 - Put up poles on the Way
12 December 2015 - Noon - Christmas Parade
13 December 2015 - Lighting the Way; 4:00 PM

UDO Public Meeting
     The final UDO Public Meeting will be held on Monday 5 October 2015 at 6:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall at Pleasant Hill UMC, 2365 Ft. Mill Highway. These meetings are very informative, with detailed maps and documentation showing what kinds of building activity will be permitted in various parts of the County.
      The County has been on a development binge in Indian Land for a number of years with County Council very willing to rezone property to suit the desire of the developer. The resulting hodge podge has been very difficult to deal with.
     The County is now approaching the end of a two year, $200k rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan, the Future Land Use Map, the Development Ordinance and the Zoning map. These new land use documents contain a very complete yet flexible description of how the County may be developed.  If County Council can refrain from rezoning property at the whim of the developer and stick to the plan, we can get development under control.
J.R. Wilt Editor