Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quack quack

Fat lady mute on CUP

Goochland’s outgoing board of supervisors met in an extremely rare called meeting on December 22, 2011 to approve the minutes of its December 6 meeting. They also voted to ratify their findings of December 6 to grant a conditional use permit (CUP) to allow Benedictine Preparatory High School to move to Goochland.

Such an extraordinary action seems to indicate that the outgoing board wants to ensure that the December 6 vote cannot be challenged on technical grounds.

This adds credence to the notion that the bitter controversy over moving the private high school to property on River Road is not over. It seems likely that parties as yet unknown may be planning litigation against the county about the CUP.

The vote remained unchanged with only returning incumbent Ned Creasey District 3 dissenting. A motion to approve the CUP was made by Malvern R. “Rudy” Butler District 3 and seconded by Andrew Pryor District 1.
District 5 supervisor James Eads, who bitterly opposed the CUP and abstained in the December 6 vote, was absent.

Creasey took a few minutes during the very brief meeting to explain his concerns about the matter. He said that after speaking with a Mr. Butler of VDOT that the turn lane and taper proffers in the CUP do not agree with those required by VDOT.

Creasey said that in order to comply with the VDOT turn lane and taper requirements BPH would need to either widen the bridge over State Route 288, which abuts the property on the west, relocate its existing entrance or obtain additional rights of way on River Road.

It is believed that landowners to the north and east of the subject property are adamantly opposed to ceding any of their land to BHP for this purpose.

Given the strong property rights beliefs of our new supervisors, it is highly doubtful that there would be any support to use eminent domain on behalf of BHP to obtain additional land for rights of way for the school.

The county zoning ordinance states that failure to comply with the requirements of a CUP can lead to its revocation. It will be interesting to see who blinks first should any confrontation over this matter arise in the future.


Anonymous said...

A CUP is voted on with certain conditions. It is up to applicant to meet these conditions.
No one should use the excuse to vote no just because he thinks they may not meet these conditions. lf the conditions are not met then CUP will not be granted.

Pat said...

Pretty interesting development; and an interesting question by Anonymous. Is there a difference between voting "no" because you think a condition may not be met, versus voting "yes" to condition(s) you know are highly unlikely to be met, and thereby accomplishing the same thing?

I guess what this means is that we're not sure if Creasey voted "no" because of the chance a condition wouldn't be met, or because he really didn't approve of the move to begin with. What's the real motive in voting "no"? I hate to say it, but it seems to me like playing politics to avoid taking a clear position. I trust Ned will clarify this as time goes by - or maybe I missed it.

I'm mostly ambivalent, but I'd like to understand my representative's stance. As a recovering Catholic I don't care for the Church for a variety of reasons, but mostly I don't see what they bring to Goochland. We have enough religiosity here already. If they do indeed get all the approvals, perhaps we should take it as an opportunity to have a community-wide discussion about religion and how it affects our society.