On Tuesday, Cape Charles held a townhall style meeting to host the continuing saga of the Coastal Precast rezoning request. Southport, LLC would like to sell parcel 90-8-1a1 to Coastal, however, without amending the text of the zoning ordinance, and rezoning the parcel from Harbor to GBI H-1 Light Industrial, Coastal will not be able to use the property for the intended uses.
Opposition comes from various angles, such as saving the tree canopy to wetlands encroachment, to harming the view shed from the nature trail.
All this hullaballoo seems odd, and lacking in historical context.
In August of 2016, the Cape Charles Town Council approved amending the zoning map for parcel 83A3-11-2 from the current Harbor District designation to the proposed Industrial M – 2. This parcel sits right on the harbor itself, and uses include manufacturing, sales, and distribution of concrete and related products, Port facilities; marine, rail, trucking, and/or intermodal terminals, including transfer, storage, handling, inspection, processing, and/or transport of containerized, bulk, and/or other cargo, Marinas, docks, and wharves, if contiguous to the Cape Charles Harbor, Railroad tracks, sidings, yards, or roundhouses. Language was even inserted to require a special use permit to construct a building over 50 feet.
At the time, there was no opposition to this at all. Not a peep out of anyone.
Fast forward to 2021, and to the real point, the citizens opposed to the text amendments and rezoning are really against the presence of the concrete plant.
That’s what this is all about.
While using the prescribed language, such as ‘we like the plant’, or ‘they have been good neighbors’, the backroom scheming and scorched earth agenda of this group has been known for some time. They hate the plant and the end game is make it go away. And the jobs with it.
This group of concerned citizens hired a lawyer to represent their interests. Unfortunately, the man’s suit looked like he just purchased it off the rack somewhere (fashion tip: Men’s Warehouse), and his argument was weaker than his fashion sensibility. His presentation was completely off-point, and did not begin to address the matter at hand – provide some data as to why the zoning is improper. Instead, the topic wandered off into wells, aquafers, and water usage.
Actually, every single person that spoke against the rezoning was completely off point. They may hate the plant, but no one could make a cogent argument against the proposed zoning.
Embarrassingly, they veered off into the ‘I stand for open and transparent government’ arguments—apparently, they never read all the public notices placed in the ES Post.
Worse, efforts were made to impugn the character and integrity of Town Manager Hozey. One citizen even used FOIA to obtain correspondences amongst the parties involved, and stated that since he supposedly spent over 20 years working for the worst newspaper in Virginia, he was somehow an expert on government transparency, and that the emails implied corruption and malfeasance. That interested parties, including the Town would actually discuss nuances of such an endeavor is, just shocking!
Oh please, just sit down. Nobody cares.
The preening became almost unbearable. Not a single person cares or is impressed with what these ninnies did before they retired and congealed here on the Cape Charles grid. One guy, who was so begging to be taken seriously, made sure everyone knew that he, just like Homer Simpson, had worked in the nuclear energy field. He was also the type of person that tucks his polo shirt into his freshly ironed shorts, and even wears a belt with this ensemble. The perfect outfit to achieve zero credibility.
For real, just sit down.
Then there’s the environmental freaks. At least three people got up and howled, “What about the environmental studies? Did they happen? If not, when?”
Ignorance is never really an excuse. Read my lips–nothing happens until some project is proposed for the property, at which point every agency on the planet will get a taste, from DEQ to the VRMC. This point was only clarified 5 times during the meeting, yet people continued taking up oxygen and belaboring this well into the night.
I can’t emphasize enough how much it distorts public policy that only the most ignorant people show up for public meetings like this.
Unless someone can actually point to the zoning ordinance and say right now in August 2021 why that parcel cannot be zoned light industrial, Town Council has no public policy reason not to approve the proposed changes. It’s blood simple.
If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.
Town Council will take this up at the next Regular Meeting, August 19th.