By Mark Stinson
Siler City, NC – Chatham County has been a developer’s gold mine for almost 40 years and until every farm and open space is consumed by housing developments and big projects like Chatham Park it will continue to be so. There was a policy that favored certain contractors in place well before Charlie Horne took the county manager’s position and it will be that way until we as a community stop this practice by forcing our elected officials to change it.
I have been digging into the issues of my missing fire hydrant and focusing on the time between 1999 to 2006 because that was when I finally received some answers on why we couldn’t get a hydrant we were promised. When I went back to the 80’s when a good chunk of county water was being put in place to see what drove that push it was developers and those who stood to make a lot of money off more development such as contractors installing a new water system. Their money literally bought off politicians from both parties. You can see it in how they voted for projects and how they cleared a path for these developments. To say the county lied to us about getting a hydrant is true to a point but more than likely the county did put the hydrant in the original work order. The county changed its plans after taking our money. The original contractor then proceeded sub contract the work out and then it was sub contracted out again with little to no oversight from the county to make sure it was properly installed, corners were cut, a smaller line was installed incorrectly and people along the way stuffed their pockets with our tax dollars.
What does this have to do with zoning? Simple investors put large chunks of money in these developments to make more money. Zoning the county with a blanket R1 right now will insure that anyone who develops property can control who does what next door keeping their property values at a maximum. R1 will also open the door to many more developments as it creates a development friendly environment and will mark the end of our farms and open spaces in Chatham. When certain commissioners claim they are for zoning because of some gun range or large unwanted business next door playing on your fears it could happen to you, don’t believe that political BS. It’s simple they are creating the environment needed for these developers who have already acquired a lot of property outside zoned areas to jump into construction knowing their development will be safe from some business , farm activity or anything else that could affect their property values. It’s not about your rights as they are taking your rights to insure their investments will gain them top dollar.
If these commissioners really wanted to zone us to protect our property rights and values they would stand firm on a 1 home per 1.5 acre tract period, no exceptions, no 4 to 6 homes per acre developments. If they really wanted to protect you from a gun range or stinky big business they would zone open use with ordinances against certain types of business and land use we may not want as a county. If a new big stinky business or gun range ,pig farm whatever wanted to settle in Chatham there would be a process of allowing folks to vote on it. There would be mandatory buffer zones put in place around these businesses. This would slow growth but create a growth plan that would be predictable and help us grow our infrastructure with the growth of new homes and business.
To the political end of this it’s clear there have been pro contractor and pro developer commissioners from both parties. Right now it’s the Democrats who are pushing the urgency of zoning under a cloud of fear of what will move in next door if we don’t do it now. When county water was pushed through there were lies about poor well water quality, ground water running out and if you don’t buy into the county water now when we put the lines in it will be twice as expensive later. I heard those lies first hand and they were proven not true. They pushed it through with fear just like they are pushing zoning through now on fear. Why is there always enough time to do something two, three, or four times, rework it , repair it and patch it up but never enough time to do it right the first time?
I have an opinion based on what I have learned about Mike Dasher so far. He’s no different than any of the rest of these pro developer supporters. Affordable housing is just another rouse to hide behind when you want to stuff four, five or six homes per acre in a development so new middle income residents to be stuffed into like pigs in a pen. Karen Howard has already shown she sees no value in our comments, so tell me why either one of them need to represent us? If your one of these Democratic fanatics who will vote blue if it kills you because Democrats do no wrong you need to wake up and realize your being played.
Republicans have played us too in times past but we have to look past the political parties to who will slow growth and truly protect us against developments and things that would ruin our quality of life here. What they don’t understand is not all of us are afraid of a stinky business or a gun range . Not all of us are content stepping on others rights to get what we want and not all of us will buy into the lies that create fear. Mike Dasher commented on how there was no GOP opponent so someone had to enter the race unaffiliated to challenge him. It really doesn’t matter to me as I’m unaffiliated if the unaffiliated challenger was a Democrat or Republican as long as they represent us and will stop R1 zoning and it shouldn’t matter to you either .
If you want to join this discussion and see the documents I am providing over my particular water issues that reflect a county wide problem and discuss who you think will be best to protect our property rights please join us on facebook.
I am doing the best I can and others are starting to participate in the process of taking our county back. I fully support Jay Stobbs and Peyton Holland not because of political party affiliation but because they will represent me and protect my property rights. They see value in our comments.