Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Navy Still Targets Washington OLF Site

by Cal Bryant - February 26, 2007 - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

The OLF battle continues.

Despite last week’s release of its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) on the construction of an Outlying Landing Field in eastern North Carolina, opponents of the U.S. Navy’s plan to construct an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) in Washington and Beaufort counties have vowed to continue the fight.

Meanwhile, local officials in Bertie and Gates counties are keeping a close eye on this issue, one that has brewed since 2002.

Washington and Beaufort Counties want the OLF someplace else. Other counties want the OLF someplace else also, just not their counties. The concern is that Washington and Beaufort may win and then the Navy will be looking at them. There is a word for this. They call it NIMBY. That means Not In My Back Yard. It is a problem with the placement of trash yards, sewage plants, prisons, airports, roads . . . etc. The Washington and Beaufort County people are convinced that their reason for wanting the OLF someplace else are valid. NOTHING the Navy (or Bertie, Gates, Perquimans, etc) says will ever convince them the place the Navy wants the OLF is a good place.

The Navy may or may not be right that the place they selected is a good place. However the motivations of the people opposed to the OLF will not change and they will never concede the Navy is right. With this awareness, it is hard to see how anything other than actually constructing the OLF will resolve this issue. When it is built the controversy will end. Until then everyone will continue their NIMBY campaign.

If you wish to express your opinion you can do so at the public hearings on this issue:

Bertie County High School - Tuesday, March 20

Perquimans County High School - Wednesday, March 21

At each location an information session will occur from 4:30-6:30 PM followed by the formal public hearing from 7-10 PM.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Commissioners Deny Rezoning Requests

by Curly Morris - February 5th, 2007 - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

GATESVILLE - Gates County Commissioners voted 3-2 on Monday against approving zoning requests made by 81 citizens who had sought to have their lots designated as Residential Mobile Home subdivisions (RMH-1).

The vote came after Gates County Planning Director Randall Cahoon informed the board of a ruling made Friday by the North Carolina Institute of Government on the recent rezoning request.

"For this board to consider each request as individual reclassifications would be illegal," Cahoon said. "The board would have to prove a reasonable basis for each request, or else it amounts to what is known as spot zoning."

This is the problem with zoning in America. There is clearly a market for these mobile homes, or there would not be so many people who wanted to rezone their land to provide them. However equal protection under the law says that trying to control rezoning is in fact taking the value of the land. What is hard to determine is whether the value for society as a whole is improved or impeded by a selective approval process that allows some to provide the homes, but not others.

Who gets to decide? Was a blanket denial the best solution for Gates County? Is there a need for the low cost housing that is provided by these mobile homes? Are neighbors inconvenienced that much by allowing others to provide a home that for many is better than they currently have?

Like most zoning, it all depends on what serves your personal interests, doesn't it?

Happy Birthday President Ronald Reagan

Why do we love Ronald Reagan? Quotes like "How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin."

There are so many things that were good about Ronald Reagan that it is hard to single out his greatest contribution to America. However as much as he is loved for other things, his defeat of communism in the Soviet Union was the top.