Thursday, May 10, 2012

Board of Supervisors votes to retain gravel section of historic Blenheim Road

I am delighted that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal by Murcielago LLC to pave a gravel section of Blenheim Road even though Murcielago LLC would pay the full cost of the project. Supervisors Christopher Dumler, Ann Mallek and Dennis Rooker honored the wishes of the property owners abutting the gravel road section to retain the rural and historic character of that part of the Scottsville District of Albemarle County. Blenheim Road was the road Thomas Jefferson traveled on horseback between Scottsville and Charlottesville and this section of road is not very different from how it was in Jefferson's time. I also believe the supervisor's preservation of the gravel road is consistent with the recently passed Albemarle County Vision Statement "that honors the rural heritage, scenic beauty and natural and historic resources while fostering attractive and vibrant communities."

I assisted Laura Dollard, an organic farmer and several other property owners who's properties abut the gravel road in presenting their desire to preserve this road to the attention of the supervisors. I applaud supervisors Dumler, Mallek and Rooker for their votes in favor of preservation. The final vote by the board was 3-3 resulting in rejection of the paving proposal. I am disappointed that only three of the six supervisors voted for preservation and I suspect that many future preservation issues before the board will be very close votes.

This was the second time the same applicant desired to pave this section of road and the second time the proposal was rejected. Perhaps this proposal will be presented to the board again after one or more board election cycles hoping for a different result. But, for now, this section of Blenheim Road will be remain as it is and has been for over two hundred years.

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