A developer asks for approval to build condominiums, the county grants it, and then the developer quietly asks that his project be rezoned as apartments.
Public outcry recently forced the Board of Supervisors to reject such a substitution in favor of apartments along Lakeridge Parkway. Now an identical substitution has once again cleared the Planning Commission and is speeding its way to final passage: A proposal to rezone what had been approved as 112 condominiums into a 172-apartment complex at the intersection of Atlee Station and Kings Acre roads.
The government of Hanover County does not seem to understand the message homeowners just sent: They do not want more apartments. They do not want them here or there. They do not want them anywhere. Not with a fox. Not in a box. Not with a mouse. Not instead of a house.
And most especially, not instead of 112 condominiums at the border of the Chickahominy and Ashland districts.
Defending his position as only one of two supervisors who voted in favor of apartments at Lakeridge, Ed Via of Ashland was vocal in his disregard of widespread popular opposition to the plan. His belief in his better judgment is noted, as is the expectation that he will decide that residents of Kings Charter have no legitimate basis for objecting to a second apartment complex only three blocks from the existing one on Kings Charter Drive.
In contrast, Chickahominy supervisor Angela Kelly-Wiecek was one of five who listened to the anger from homeowners and blocked approval of the Lakeridge rezoning. If she intends to do otherwise now that the development is slated for her district, she owes everyone an explanation as to why a bad idea in South Anna is suddenly a good one in Chickahominy.
Hanover County is rapidly gaining a reputation for having the best government that developers can buy. Let us hope that, in this instance, the Board of Supervisors fails to live up to it.