Posted November 16

On Monday evening, November 15, the Board of Commissioners discussed the application from the developers of Fearrington Preserve (Congruus LLC) to add 184 acres of land that they own to the 2017 Land Use Map that outlined the area suitable for development under the Compact Community Ordinance (CCO).

I testified during the public input part of the meeting against the request, as did several others from FV and Briar Chapel. Following a presentation by the applicant, George Lucier, Planning Board member, explained why that body had voted (8 – 3) to deny the request.

After a somewhat heated discussion, Commissioner Jim Crawford made a motion to approve the request. The Chair of the Board, Mike Dasher, asked for a second, and hearing none, made the second himself. The motion actually failed, on a 3 – 2 vote, with Diana Hales, Karen Howard and Franklin Gomez Flores voting against it.

Unfortunately, our elation was short lived. Since the motion to approve had failed, Karen Howard introduced a motion to deny the application. Diana Hales seconded, but this motion also failed, because Gomez Flores voted the other way.

When no one seemed to know what this meant, the County Attorney stated that the matter was still on the table. He suggested that the various parties hold discussions in the days ahead to understand what information the applicant needed to provide that might break the stand-off, one way or the other. Mr. Gomes made it clear that, at the very least, he wanted to see a conceptual plan outlining what the applicant was planning to build and where.

We do not know when this will come back before the Board of Commissioners. Hopefully, it will be after the holidays, but don’t bet on that. It was clear that all the comments received from the Planning Board, Fearrington residents, and others had a lot to do with the initial vote, but the eventual outcome of the meeting was very unusual, to say the least. We will do our best to keep you informed and let you know when it is time to make your voices heard again.

Rose Krasnow (vp@fhaboard.org)