The proposed Rural Area Plan (RAP) rezonings that will impact over 2000 acres primarily in Davidson's ETJ moved one step closer to passage Monday night.
According to someone in the room, at its meeting Monday evening the Planning Board unanimously passed what are called "consistency statements" with Planning Board Chair, Mickey Pettus, pointing out to the Planning Board members that they were voting on whether or not the proposed rezonings were consistent with the Rural Area Plan. Town Hall confirmed this morning that this is all that is needed from the Planning Board.
These consistency statements are required as part of the process. They do not however imply whether or not the Planning Board approved of them as a good idea. In that sense, this is not a surprising result.
Throughout the debate, people opposing the rezonings have explicitly not been attacking them as somehow "inconsistent" with the RAP. In fact most people have said the RAP is a good plan including the fact that it permanently protects about 700 acres as Rural Reserve that can have no development. What people are concerned about is the timing for rezoning the rest of the impacted acres. They are concerned about the hard fact that doing these rezonings now without proposed plans for development is simply throwing a bone to developers. It's making their job easier by granting them new by right privileges under new zoning without having to present plans first.
All of these concerns are valid despite vigorous protestations to the contrary from Town Hall staff and electeds.
Flawed ideas need to be fought every step of the way. If they aren't, you end up with things like MI-Connection and the I77 HOT lanes.
Unfortunately, nobody on Davidson's Board seems to see things that way in general and certainly not with this RAP rezoning specifically.
Last week when the Board of Commissioners sent these rezonings to the Planning Board for its recommendation, it did so unanimously. After repeated questions from aShortChronicle the Board steadfastly refused to remove this item from the consent agenda and vote on it separately. Consent agenda items imply unanimous approval of an action by the Board.
In an email to aShortChronicle, Commissioner Rodney Graham defended this saying this request for input from the Planning Board was just standard procedure and that he couldn't imagine any Commissioner not following procedure and voting for getting that input.
Now, they have it. The Planning Board says these rezonings are "consistent" with the RAP and this process moves one step forward.
The next opportunity for citizens to review this plan is this Saturday at Q&A forum at Hopewell Baptist Church from 9:00am to 10:30am.