Editorial: Industrial rezoning requests put town board members in tough spot

Published 8:48 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

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The signs are up on Madison Road and US 64 just west of Mocksville.

“No to rezoning.”

I don’t blame them. If I lived on Madison Road, I wouldn’t be too happy, either. Businesses have been encroaching for years, with the nearly 200-acre Angell farm acting as a buffer from the new development. The road itself has already become quite busy as a cut through from US 64 to US 601. Should we add industrial traffic to that? I don’t think so. Both intersections at the US highways also aren’t favorable for more traffic. Try turning left from Madison Road onto Yadkinville Road. You could be there for a while. Or try turning in either direction from Madison Road onto US 64 … you just hope someone isn’t speeding over the hill.

Madison Angell, nationally recognized farmer whose family owns the land, died; and his family is ready to cash in on their lifelong investment.

I don’t blame them, either. It’s their land and they should be able to do with it as they please, within reason. And like it or not, this is a reasonable request.

I’m not going to blame the Mocksville Town Board, either. Those guys have the unenviable job of deciding whether that tract of land will stay residential and agricultural, or be rezoned to allow industry. Either way, they’re going to have some upset residents. They should listen carefully to folks on both sides of the issue before making their decision. Their decision should be based on what zoning is right for that tract of land – nothing else. There should be no political or friendly favors.

The board will go through two public hearings Tuesday at the Energy United building on Salisbury Street: whether to approve the rezoning to industrial, and whether to annex the property. Those hearings shouldn’t be held on the same night. Would developers even want the annexation if the rezoning is denied? It makes residents wonder why there is a rush for both on the same night.

Actually, the board will have three public hearings. The other will be whether to annex the Blackwelder tract on US 601 North at Cana Road. County commissioners have already rezoned that one for industry.

In total, there are more than 315 acres included in the annexation requests, all for industrial sites. Developers want the annexation because the town of Mocksville has a sewage treatment system that could be extended to the sites.

Just riding around Davie County, it seems like new houses and developments are going up around every corner. I guess we really do live in a desireable place. Let’s just hope it stays that way.

It’s a lot to take in; just remember, when it’s all said and done, we’re still neighbors and friends.

But for goodness sake, when will enough be enough?

We’re quickly losing our rural way of life. Maybe it was inevitable. Most people think that growth is good, just not in their own backyard. Most people think that rural is good, too, but don’t own the land they enjoy every day.

We should say thank you to members of our town boards and county commissioners. Their job isn’t easy. We don’t have to always agree with them; but we do need to make sure their decisions are made fairly, not as a favor to someone or some company.

– Mike Barnhardt