What do you think? County hosting community conversations on growth

Published 2:17 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

County commissioners have studied growth patterns in Davie County.

They’ve heard options from zoning officials on how to control, or manage that growth. They spent a couple of hours recently learning about some of those options.

Now, they want to hear from you.

County Manager Brian Barnett and County Zoning Director Johnny Easter will be among county officials having “Community Conversations” with residents:

• Thursday, Oct. 5 at EMS Station 2 on 1785 Farmington Road, Mocksville;

• Wednesday, Oct. 11 at EMS Station 3 at 2802 US 601 S., Mocksville; and

• Tuesday, Oct. 17 at EMS Station 4 on 2027 Cornatzer Road, Advance.

All of the meetings are from 6-8 p.m., and residents are invited to stop by to provide input on growth.

“Where do we go from here?” Commissioner Terry Renegar asked after hearing options from Barnett and Easter. “There is some concern in the county that we’re growing too fast.”

Commissioner Brent Shoaf is frustrated over the housing situation, which seems to be overlooking the need for “affordable” housing, he said. He did, however, say the recent practice of shared driveways and lots with little street frontage – practices that making housing more affordable – should be stopped.

“We’re not finding options for affordable housing,” Shoaf said. “Right now, a $300,000 home is hard to afford, even compared to two years ago. We need to come to grips with that. Don’t use it as an argument to develop more. Let’s help the citizens we have, but expect growth. We’re in a popular area.”

Commissioner Benita Finney said it is important to get input from residents before making a final decision.

Mark Jones, board chair, said any changes to the zoning ordinance or map should be the people’s decision.

“We want to control growth in terms of sprawl,” Jones said. “There’s a couple of things in here (presentation from Barnett and Easter) that may exaggerate the sprawl, and I don’t think we all want that.”

Barnett said it is time for a new comprehensive plan, the last one was adopted in 2019. That shows areas were growth should be expected, among other things.

“That plan was written pre-COVID, and a lot has changed drastically. The world has changed, this board has changed,” Barnett said. “We are following that plan to a certain extent. We’re talking about what we want to see and what we want in Davie County. We’re at a point to look at this in more detail.”

“I think this is progress and we’re going in the right direction,” said Commissioner Richard Poindexter. “Everybody should be involved.”