Expanding Burnt Ordinary is a better solution

Burnt Ordinary Village has more than seven acres undeveloped, it is appropriately zoned for low-income housing, it's in the PSA, has no resource protection area issues and road access is good. It also dovetails with the Toano redevelopment initiative. The 7.17 vacant acres equal what they have already built.

Expansion does not have the same issues as building Oakland Pointe. It makes better sense to expand what is already in place and is suitable for the purpose.

The Burnt Ordinary waiting list is eight years, and the average resident lives there 12 years. It seems an expansion there is logical and desirable. It is inappropriate to build Oakland Pointe with Burnt Ordinary being able to double its capacity.

Studies have shown low-income housing should be spread throughout an area. That benefits all residents. No urban planner would consider co-locating two low-income properties like this. Also, there has been no plan put forth indicating how many and where the county intends to develop low-income housing. Prior to development, the county should specify the areas and potential properties based on Affordable Housing Taskforce input. Oakland Pointe is premature in the planning cycle.

Has the Work Force Taskforce looked at Burnt Ordinary? It's the county's only low-income housing. The out-of-state Oakland Pointe developer didn't consider its impact. Their "exhaustive search" missed the obvious.

I think the Oakland Pointe development should go back to the Planning Commission so they may review all the facts. Some important things were missed, and this has been confirmed by one county supervisor. The James City Board of Supervisors was informed of these issues and has remained silent, except for one member.

Is Oakland Pointe a done deal? The citizens have clearly shown they do not want it. Is this going to be another Tommy Norment-like exercise for the BOS? Are they going to listen to the voters, or is it another "develop everything exercise" that ignores the voters?

The BOS is supposed to represent their voters’ interests and should be amenable to their input. That is the only reason they are there.

Michael Grimes


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