Ken Dufty has taken the lead in analyzing and exposing the corrupt nature of the Northampton County Comprehensive Plan. In the following letter, Mr. Dufty details many of the problems, and how this plan is very similar in nature to the disastrous 2015 plan that set the county on fire.
Here is what is lost on many. The Comprehensive Plan, supposedly the will of the majority of people- sets the table for the next plate…..writing and adopting a zoning ordinance that will implement the “vision” of the masses. On December 28, 2015, I filed a lawsuit with the District Court of Northampton County, suing to stop the implementation of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance and demanding an injunction. I based my argument on Supreme Court precedence and state code that the zoning ordinance was not consistent with our 2009 Comprehensive Plan.
I would have won that case, I am sure….because a zoning ordinance HAS to be consistent with the Comp Plan, or will of the people. My appeal was already perfected to file that argument with the Supreme Court…I never thought we had a chance on the county level as the county attorney was part and parcel of that disastrous zoning attempt.
Now, the new Comp Plan very sneakily opens the door to accomplish much of the goals of that 2014 calamitous zoning, so if they adopt it as written, there will be no legal recourse to stop a zoning rewrite that calls for most of the implementation strategies of the NEW 2040 COMP PLAN….which is certainly NOT OUR PLAN…but theirs.
- expansion of town edge districts but eliminating the language in our current comp plan about requiring or pursuing proffers….critical to town’s like Exmore;
- Stripping Willis Wharf and Oyster of their Village designation on the Future Land Use Map…this sets the stage to have them named “working waterfront development areas”….look that one up in state code;
- Giving the economic development AUTHORITY to acquire property on behalf of the county…works well for a commercial real estate interest who is no longer on the authority…wouldn’t want to make it too obvious. This allowance probably gives them the power of eminent domain.
- originally (December 4 draft) calling for the hiring of another economic development director (Betsy Mapp made them take that out);
- eliminate cottage community as a zoning district (BM made them take that out;
- “wastewater reclamation and reuse (SWIFT technology);
- interchanging the term “unit” and “dwelling unit” in what I consider a sneaky way to put apartment houses or multi families on that 20 acres of farmland…something Fauber has been stumping for;
- allowing accessory dwellings “by right”……completely against the language in our comprehensive plan of 2009.
Check out the 2009 language on page 12 of our current plan: “citizens are concerned that demands for second-home or waterfront development and scattered residential development will threaten fragile ecosystems, migratory bird habitat corridors, natural habitat and groundwater supplies”.
The 2020 YOUR PLAN calls for “liveable communities”…..you know, just like Cape Charles business district.
Not much incentive for the 20% of Northampton residents who are at or below the poverty line.
- calls for another marina or boat ramp between CC and Morley’s….something Coker said was a top priority for him as he is an avid boater…….can you connect the dots to #3 above?
Anyway, this 2020 YOUR PLAN is to our current 2009 Plan is what a monkey is to an airplane.
It is, in my opinion, a smoke and mirror charade and a profesional game of “watch the shiny nickel”.
Note it took many researchers nearly 4 months to climb through this briar patch and untie the knots.
The document is ingenious. But just one word in a Comp Plan can spell disaster for a county or town or village.
Believe me. You have to read EVERY word.
The first thing we asked for this year was a line by line comparison between the current plan (which is still in effect and will (would have been) until 2026.