Board recommendation fits with surrounding land use

First Posted: 3/9/2009

Monday night, the Surry County planning board voted to recommend the Board of Commissioners rezone a 117-acre tract of land near Elkin, from agricultural use to manufacturing use.
While the board members went out of their way to say this was not directed at any specific industry looking at the land, most folks believe the coming Fibrowatt plant plays significantly into this decision.
A small but vocal group of folks opposed to the rezoning showed up, too, and made it known they want no sort of industrial or business development in that region of the county. Its rural now, and they want it to stay that way.
We can empathize with them, even the ones who dont really live near the area in question, as simply wanting to stop development near the Yadkin River. They want the area to remain as natural in appearance as possible, and thats certainly a laudable goal.
However, in this case, the rezoning makes sense.
The tract in question is surrounded by land already zoned for industrial use. While much of it might not be developed at present, it could be without really altering the zoning classification of the property surrounding the tract. Based on that, if there is any piece of property that is not in character with the surrounding land, its the 117 -acre parcel the board voted on last night.
Others who spoke Monday against the rezoning cited the countys land use plan. Again, we can empathize with folks who bought land in the area based on the land use plan. And we certainly have to wonder how the county designed the long-range plan for this area to be rural in nature, when the tract in question is bounded by other parcels already zoned for industrial use.
Still, the land use plan is not, by itself, a legally binding document. It is a guide, subject to revision, or even being flat-out ignored.
Based on the surrounding land use zoning, we believe the board made the right recommendation.

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