In January, Supervisor Duer submitted a motion basically ‘repeal’ the recently passed 2015 zoning ordinance, and attempt to return to the 2009 version of the ordinance. At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting, the board finished the job, by approving proposed motion-4-6-2016, establishing what is now known as the 2016 zoning ordinance. County Administrator Katie Nunez and County Attorney Bruce Jones required some clarifications on whether ‘Event Venue’ would need a major or minor Special Use Permit, which led to discussion of just what the submittal requirements would be for major or minor SUPs in general. Consensus was to attempt to simplify and streamline the process as much as possible, but more attention would need to be given here. Chairman Spencer Murray the Motion to Adopt the 2016 zoning text and map amendment; it was seconded by Robert Duer. While Supervisors LeMond and Bennett voted no, Murray, Hogg and Duer voted yes—the motion passed 3-2, ending what Chairman Murray called the most divisive one he had seen in 35 years.
During the discussions, Murray made the case for attempting to capture the 3 million plus cars that travel up and down route 13, and somehow convert this ‘moving city’ into a revenue stream. He also noted that he wanted to do this without developing on the highway, but by miraculously diverting this traffic into the towns. His theory involved doing it ‘smartly’ by creating ‘clusters’ to steer drivers into commercial shopping areas, such as downtown Cape Charles.
With this chapter in the books, Granville Hogg noted that, “there was no way to pacify everyone on either side of the zoning issue”. Hogg also stated that, while he did not like the 2015 zoning ordinance, he did not like the 2016 zoning ordinance much better.
The architect of the original motion, Supervisor Duer finished by saying that serving as a Supervisor is a “lose lose” situation, however “he has great respect” for all of his fellow board members and is honored to serve Northampton County.