Letter to the Editor: Amusing? The Tri-West joke is on the citizenry

Published 9:47 am Friday, July 28, 2023

To the editor:

Regarding the recent article about the EDC President’s amusement, it would seem the joke is on the citizenry.

The clarions were sounded two years ago but to no avail. Suddenly, if you monitor a local Facebook page, citizens are not amused. I ask where these folks were two years ago when only three (yes, three) stood up in what turned out to be a quixotical tilting at windmills when speaking against the Tri-West spot zoning.

These now unamused denizens of social media need to come out from behind the curtain of semi-obscurity and vehemently direct their displeasure in more widespread and public forums; in short, a grassroots campaign to effect change, or at least join the other Don Quixotes who have persistently voiced opinion in public forum regarding the entire Tri-West brouhaha.

First, answers need to be had: how is that no one, to the person, who lives around or had passed the subject parcels area has any recollection of compliance with NCAC 160D regarding the public signage that would have been required on US 158; how is that planning had such an abject failure regarding in place guidance meant to protect county viewsheds with berms and landscaping (example, the nearby quarry); how could the primary and identified needs of the citizenry, as well documented in the workups to the 2019 Comprehensive Plan, be out-of-hand dismissed (as a reminder, industrial development did not even rank in the priority list); and how could, in the case of the Tri-West location, the obvious patent errors of Figure 23 in the Comprehensive Plan (used to justify the spot rezoning) not have been resolved?

There is, if the grassroots effort ignites, a germ of possible hope. The aberration under construction is the first phase: it is half the size of what is planned for the balance of the parcel; it too, has no imposed aesthetic components. When the EDC president’s laughter stops, perhaps he can hear a voice coming from within one of the developer’s offices (insight from a private conversation): spec building contracts are being significantly downsized and/or cancelled – this follows succinctly with the EDC president’s comment about “no takers.”

This can be seen if you drive around the state: large spec buildings, sitting empty, with “available” banners attached. Perhaps the developer will redirect to what the community really needs: mixed use developing consisting of storefronts (think small business, doctor’s offices), affordable starter and senior housing, assisted living center, etc. (all called out in the Comp Plan workups and ranked as priorities). This enterprise entails, if you dig deep enough, several layers of shell companies. All the following information is public information gleaned from the required annual “Limited Liability Company Annual Report.”

The top of the pyramid is Mocksville Development Partners, LLC (located in Dobson), registered agent Tim Dockery, 121 N. Crutchfield St, Dobson NC, 27017, (336) 386-9790. There are three listed Company Officials, each an LLC: GMF Ventures, Inc. (listed as the managing member), Covenant Development Partners, LLC; and Exit 174, LLC. The “managing members” information is: GMF Ventures, Inc: 2701 University Parkway, Winston-Salem NC, 27105, (336) 724-3625, company officials listed as Curtis Bland, William Haymore, and Barbara Maida Stolle; Covenant Development Partners, LLC, 121 North Crutchfield St., Dobson, NC 27017, (336) 386-9790, company officials listed as listed as Timothy A. Dockery and Daniel F. Barnes; and Exit 174, LLC, 1100 S. Stratford Rd, Bldg. C, Ste 110, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, (336) 701-1100, company officials listed as D. Greg Marshall and J. Barry Hennings (a quick check of public records available on Omega Construction, the site building contractor, will reveal that these two individuals are principles of that company).

So, my challenge to the Facebook denizens is this: firstly, will you take up the gauntlet with our commissioners (if proven that the rezoning did not comply with state law what relief may be available, corrections to the planning oversights for phase two) for changes? And secondly, use the above information to try (letters, calls, emails, etc.) to persuade the above individuals to redirect on the balance of the project site (rezone, etc.) and provide the Davie community what is really needed?

There may still be just enough time: word is that electrical power is still three years out in availability. Seeing the negativity of phase one, do you really want more of the same, and in even greater quantity? The current economics concerning spec buildings could be in our favor, the laughter coming from the EDC notwithstanding.

William Vaughan