When I first began working on issues in this area, I, too, thought preserving this beautiful and valuable area of Virginia Beach should be as simple as what is described in a posting on this: just get all of City Council to vote no to rezonings in the Transition Area/Rural Area that are gratuitous in relation to the plan for those areas. However, and forgive me if this seems callous, I quickly learned that was “pie in the sky” thinking.
It is paramount we understand that there is no way to guarantee the thought process of future City Councils. In relation to this, we must all know, as we are seeing in an article in yesterday’s paper, if the land is open for development, it’s highly probable the land will be engineered for development – or at least a good portion of it might be.
It’s prudent, therefore, to provide guidelines and mechanisms such as the Comprehensive Plan, for instance, and the ARP that provide protection and security in other ways for land such as that in the Transition Area and Rural Area. The ARP is one of the mechanisms used to protect our rural area and agricultural industry from the type of suburban sprawl and high residential density slowly and already working its way in that direction. Note, to downzone to prevent development is an unconstitutional taking, so that isn’t an option here. The best tact is adherence to the Comprehensive Plan via support of the ARP in conjunction with a robust push of information to help all residents of VB understand the value of that area to the health of the city as a whole.
- The ARP is one of the keys to combating our flooding issues.
- The ARP is the 3rd leg of our economic industry (see the Rural Chapter in the Comprehensive plan for a better grasp of what this means).
- The ARP is a vibrant aspect of our tourist trade.
- The ARP is part of what makes our city unique in that we have an agricultural industry supporting our rural area, a place of plenty that benefits all of us.