Editorial: Can growth problems be avoided?

Published 12:13 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

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It’s wise of our county commissioners to set aside several hours just to discuss growth in Davie County.

Rezoning decisions are just as hard as budget decisions, maybe more difficult. Most of us don’t fully understand the complexities of a government budget, but we do know when a building the size of Fort Knox is being erected right across the street.

Maybe part of that discussion would be if buffers should be added to where industrial sites meet the highway. That’s needed along US 158 now, but it’s too late.

It was needed for a recent rezoning approval on US 601 North, and the county worked out an agreement with the developer on that one, but only because the developer had applied for a “special use” instead of general use rezoning.

Although I don’t like commissioners negotiating with a developer, it worked in this case. Commissioners shouldn’t be deciding on the particulars of a project; that should be spelled out long before any rezoning is done.

Getting the right kind of growth in the right places will be next to impossible. Two things will have to occur.

For one, county commissioners as a whole will have to get a backbone. No more cowering to any developer who promises a lot of tax revenue and jobs. Remember, they told us that Oak Valley wouldn’t affect our school system. For too long, commissioners have believed and rolled over to anyone wanting to make a sizable investment in Davie.

Also, Bermuda Run, Davie County, Mocksville and Cooleemee will have to be on the same page when it comes to what should be built where. While we have a great history of all working together, when it comes to zoning, things get trickier. And with new board members – and new ideas – coming on every couple of years, lines in the sand will be next to impossible to pinpoint.

But the Aug. 29 growth summitt is a good start.

In the meantime, let board members know how you feel. It’s how our democracy is supposed to work.

– Mike Barnhardt