Residents Help Squash Possible Development

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

April 20, 2006

Orange County residents lined up in opposition of a development they say would ruin their rural way of life. The controversial plan drew quite a crowd at the meeting Thursday night.

"These are the people that continue to speak and they continue to say no," said resident Doug Raider.

Resident, after resident, after resident lined up to speak in strong disapproval to the proposed Annandale development. The 244 acre site would sit just outside of Gordonsville and house nearly 500 single family homes for people ages 55 and up. Some residents felt this many homes could destroy the small town feel.

"I love this place. I love that my kids...come home from college and everybody knows them and they know me," said Terri Morrison.

Others worried that the development was just too big for the existing infrastructure and would draw other unwanted neighbors.

"As for out of scale with the community, with roughly 688 homes in town, the development represents a 70 percent increase in housing," said Dan Holmes from the Piedmont Environmental Council.

"You are not just approving this project, you are approving the entry into Orange County of WalMarts, Best Buys [and] Costcos," said resident Mark Hofmann.

Most of all, community members said Annandale would deprive them of the lives they have known for so long.

"There is a richness to our community in Gordonsville that can not be accounted for by more housing, more people [and] more traffic," said resident Ken Casten.

In late developments, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to turn down the proposal. At this point, the developer can continue to pursue the project with the Board of Supervisors or discontinue the plan.

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