Rezoning decision will hurt property owners

Hundreds of citizens, mostly longstanding homeowners and faithful taxpayers, lost a very important battle this past Tuesday night. Lee County deserves strategic growth and well-planned development, but this is far from the best course of action. Gary Eller’s rezoning petition to handsomely capitalize upon the soon-to-be Westover Extension was approved by the Lee County Board of Commissioners (absent the recovering Chairman Duffy).

“General Business District” and “Multi-family Residential District” are the politically correct terms for strip malls and apartments (“villas/townhomes”) that will speckle the border of the once tranquil Palmyra Subdivision ... not to mention the construction/subsequent traffic, noise pollution and other inevitable and undesirable consequences. Wonder what the gated Grand Island community thinks? So do I! The vote spits in the face of many of Lee County’s staunch residents and represents a wrong turn on the path to progress.

Commissioner Betty Johnson was the lone voice of reason opposing the applications, explaining that she did not want others to experience what she had when similar circumstances changed her life forever (sounds like fair warning to me). Commissioner Muggridge stated that this was a gut-wrenching decision for the commission and that all measures would be sought to “limit the harm done by the road” (yes, his quote). Are there no courses of action where harm is inherently limited and not heaped on “a few of the faithful” citizens? He also stated that this would be an arterial road that would ultimately march to Leesburg itself ... watch out, you landowners in the continuing path of progress!

With the public hearing behind us and business meeting decision upon us, what course of action remains for those whose property values and peaceful existence are mortally wounded in America’s fourth most impoverished region?




waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

Everyone wants progress and an increased tax base, just as long as it doesn't encroach upon their lives and fortunes. I can't remember who said it, but it was during the railroad expansion and land grab era. Progress moves on, despite that which it must run over.


Sign in to comment