Orange Development Debate

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

July 11, 2006

Once again area politicians have been put to the test to try and decide what is best for their communities. The latest test for Orange County is the proposed Annadale Project, a 55-years-old and older community that would bring nearly 300 new homes to the area. In Tuesday's Public Hearing, politicians heard from both sides.

"I strongly urge against such a course of action and urge you to vote against approval [of] the Annadale subdivision," said Tom Bundy.

"Orange County would be wise to encourage a community like Annadale and bring some of those baby boomers here to spend their disposable income," said Connie Buttimer

They came with differing opinions. From signs on the streets, to signs in the meeting room, over 100 Orange County residents came to speak their minds about the proposed Annadale project, a 290 home development for adults 55 and older.

"Community is what we have here in Orange County and Gordonsville now. We do not put up gates to keep people out or worse yet, keep them in," said Becky Hoffman.

"This is the type of development that will help this County provide positive economic growth with no to minimal services," said Doug Rogers.

The 290 homes is a substantial decrease from the 650 originally proposed. After being unanimously turned down by the Planning Commission in April, the developer, the Silver Company went back and changed their proposal. Some residents still worry about the negative impacts a development this size would have on the community.

"I believe the continued consumption of rural land is both unwise and unhealthy," said Steven Tipsworth.

"It will bring a complete change in our town and county demographics, changing Gordonsville and Orange from a rural family focus to the focus of elderly suburbanites," Hoffman said.

Late Tuesday night, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of approving the Annadale development. Developers hope to break ground in about 18 months.

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