County Zoning Controversy Unresolved after Meeting


March 31, 2014

After hundreds of residents attended a March 11 public hearing to rally against proposed sweeping zoning changes, Northampton County Board of Supervisors sent the proposal to the County Planning Commission. The Supervisors met jointly with the Planning Commission March 24 to discuss next steps.

Opponents of the proposed zoning changes now worry that the Planning Commission will be forced into a hasty decision, and they blame County officials for not simply withdrawing the zoning amendment and resubmitting it later.

As the Wave reported March 13 (CLICK), the controversy is over sweeping proposed changes to the County zoning code, including removal of special seaside protections that under Federal law are afforded the bayside. CLICK for a comprehensive list of opponents’ concerns.

Inexplicably, although the proposed zoning amendments have been worked on for over a year, the Planning Commission was not involved. When opponents pointed out that under law the Planning Commission must be involved, the draft ordinance was “dropped in our laps with a 100-day review period,” in the words of one Commission member.


Discussion at the March 24 meeting entailed how the Planning Commission could act within 100 days, and whether to spend $15,000 to hire a professional consultant to help.

Exmore resident Ken Dufty has mounted an email campaign against the requirement for a 100-day deadline. Other prominent opponents include Shorekeeper Jay Ford, the Nature Conservancy, and Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore (CBES). A public meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, at the Conservancy’s Brownsville House (CLICK), and newly elected Delgate Robert Bloxom will attend.



One Response to “County Zoning Controversy Unresolved after Meeting”

  1. Antonio Sacco on March 31st, 2014 3:05 am

    Our Board Of Supervisors have no idea how to create good paying jobs — they lost a school building, they lost the hospital, they created a climate of despair that the people have no hope for the future for their families, they break up families whereas their children after graduation must leave the Shore to seek employment elsewhere. They raise taxes on the low income families. We have a County Administrator that increases Government staff as the population in Northampton is in decline, but has not developed one single non-Government job since hired.