Proposal is Denied on All Three Counts
At their meeting on June 17th, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted as follows:
- To deny Comprehensive Plan Amendment 20-L05 submitted by Blitch Plantation, LTD to amend the future land use designation from Rural Land to Rural Activity Center for 18.2 acres.
- To deny Application 200507Z to rezone 18.2 acres from Rural Land to Rural Activity Center; but to approve the rezoning for 5 acres within that parcel with land use already designated as Rural Activity Center. This means that the 5 acres with the future land use designation of Rural Activity Center now has the zoning to match, and development that is allowed within a Rural Activity Center can now take place there.
- To deny Application 200508SU to permit ATV racetrack with ancillary recreational uses, limited ATV sales and repair, RV Park, and event venue requested as a Special Use Permit in RAC and A-1 Zoning Districts.
What Does This Mean?
It means that the developer, Blitch Plantation, and the applicant, Double Gate, did not convince the Commissioners that these three applications were in the best interest of the community, compatible with the other uses in the area, or consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Blitch Plantation will have to find another use for the 235-acre property, and Double Gate will have to find another location for their ATV racetrack. There will be a 5-acre portion of the property that will receive the zoning for Rural Activity Center, consistent with other properties on that corner. Any use consistent with Rural Activity Center zoning, such as a general store, gas station, or grocery, will be allowed on that 5-acre parcel.
While we are grateful for this action by the County Commission, we are especially thankful for their professional conduct during the meeting. The Commissioners patiently and intently listened to each and every public comment for over 3 hours. We thank them for listening, for reading hundreds of letters, for maintaining order and offering gracious respect to everyone who spoke. Because of their commitment to civil public discourse, the consensus of the community was allowed to emerge.
Thank you, Commissioners, for keeping the discussion civil and fair, and for respecting all who asked to be heard.
Everyone who spoke, no matter what your view, thank you. You were brilliant. Each of you had a perspective to share, and you expressed it so well. There were so many intelligent, well-thought out, and articulate views expressed in that four-hour meeting. While the public comments were overwhelmingly in opposition to the proposals, the voices of those in favor of the proposals were equally important to be heard.
Double Gate ATV proponents, thank you for your clear intentions to do something good and safe for ATV enthusiasts in the area, and for wanting to provide a service to the community. We wish you success as you adapt your business plan to another location and to the desires of the community so clearly expressed in the hearing.
You Are The Forever
Finally, we express deep, deep gratitude to our members and supporters. It took considerable resources and effort to get the word out and gather the voices of the community. You were there, writing letters, making phone calls, cheering us on, helping and giving every step of the way. You are the FOREVER in Horse Farms Forever. You are the reason that the next generation will inherit the open spaces and beautiful places that create the character and culture that make Marion County the Horse Capital of the World.
One thing was abundantly clear from the testimony – the Farmland Preservation Area is well worth protecting – it is the essence of what makes Marion County unique and special. It was a beautiful thing to listen to so many supporters convey what the Farmland Preservation Area means to them.
The farmland preservation movement in Marion County is alive and well.
We work hard to keep you informed, and to represent our members’ interests in preserving our horse farms, farmland and the unique character and culture of Marion County.
Join the herd. Every voice matters.
Congratulations to the folks at Horse Farms Forever for their persistence in rallying opposition to the Double Gate ATV project.
Thank You to all who put their hearts and souls into this endeavor. It is so appreciated more then you will ever know.
Thank you for all the effort and support!
Thank you, Mike James – the man with the decibel meter!
I am located in Moore County, NC and we are facing a similar ATV/motor club road course/skeet shooting proposition for 300 acres next to The Fields equestrian community. If Mike James, the decibel meter gentleman you thank in your comment, could contact me that would be potentially very helpful to us fighting this annexation/conditional zoning proposal with the town of Carthage, NC. Thank you in advance.
Here is a link to an article that will help you to measure decibels – https://bettersoundproofing.com/how-to-quiet-atv-exhaust-noise/ Mike was simply using a decibel meter that he is familiar with as a construction supervisor. He was measuring the sound during the meeting to give us an idea what 65 db sounds like. He was also measuring the sound of the ATVs at his property line. According to this article, it is a $65 to $80 item and measuring is not difficult DYI.
Thanks to everyone who took their time out of their busy lives to work to preserve our rural setting we have in this part of Marion County.
Thank you to all at Horsefarmsforer, if not for you we would not have even known this was happening, and we live so close to the area!
Happy to be included in the process of preserving the area.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your excellent leadership on this extremely important issue.
CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m so glad that the Commissioners were strong enough to make the right decision to Preserve Farmland, not ‘sort of’ preserve it!! Looking forward to seeing a farmers market/local business pop up on the corner RuralAC.
Thank you for your diligence and hard work to support the denial of this proposal.
Thank you!!! It’s your help that this made it possible. Keep farmland farmland.
Thank you Horsefarmsforever for keeping the community informed on this important issue and providing outstanding leadership to achieve this result.
Blitch Plantation will not take this lying down!
They are used to steam rolling over all that get in their way.
Thank you to all for putting Farmland Preservation at the forefront…especially HorseFarmsForever! This gives me hope for the future of Marion County.
Thank you so much for being there to support our farmland. It takes a lot of dedication and resources to do what you do. I am proud to be a member.
Hooray! Horse Farms Forever is a great organization, able to rally its members and the community effectively. You made it so easy to understand the issues and to contact the Commissioners. Great job.
Thank you to Horse Frams Forever for your leadership in this important effort. It was very heartening to see so many people waiting to express their opinions to the County Commissioners…and having the Commissioners listen! This is what makes America great. Thanks to all involved.
Way to go Horse Farms Forever!
During the meeting one of the Commissioners mentioned that there was some confusion about the actual intention and power of the Farmlands Preservation Area.
Specifically, what does it do for us and more importantly, what does it not do for us?
Is it possible Double Gate ATV will reapply with some modifications?