Ebony is located in southern Brunswick County, VA - en route to Lake Gaston from I-85
Rezoning to B-1 allows Dollar General, an out-of-character corporate giant, into the community. It is definitely NOT CONSISTENT with the existing character of the area. Its invasion would destroy the scenic beauty, charm, quaintness, and character of the community - as well as the quality and safety of neighboring residences that the A-1 zoning ordinances seeks to protect. Furthermore, if this rezoning were to be approved it would open up easy commercialization for the rest of the open fields in near proximity and adjacent to Prospect Cemetery/Church grounds in this A-1 Agricultural District. See more pictures of Subject Area
This situation can happen anywhere in the County! In this case it is about Dollar General; with B-1 zoning, any approved B-1 use could be allowed.
Lands in this district are the unincorporated portions of the County that are associated with farming, open space, scenic beauty, rural authenticity, that are Strategic Assets for Brunswick County to be preserved. While rural residential development is allowed, any proposed Business needs are governed by a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) that must be pre-approved in the Zoning Ordinances -- not by B-1 Business spot zoning. If there is no existing CUP define, one would have to be created and approved to be added to A-1 zoning ordinances.
B-1 Business District ordinances are intended for INCORPORATED AREAS. The subject area for rezoning is within the Ebony COMMUNITY - IT IS NOT INCORPORATED.
This request is not consistent with the A-1 Agricultural District and its intent as a whole. Specifically it attempts to introduce an incompatible, corporate giant Business that is completely out of character of the community, known to have a damaging effect, and simply NOT NEEDED.
A-1 guidelines cover Business requests based on consideration of a Conditional Use Permit — not spot rezoning to B-1 - to prevent exactly what is being attempted: to circumvent the A-1 protections that would inappropriately bring a Dollar General into this community where it does not belong..
Dollar General has targeted Ebony as its next assault on rural America. In order for Dollar General to come to Ebony agricultural land must be rezoned as business.
All of Ebony's business activity (2 general stores that serve the community as well as Lake Gaston clientele and tourists) is on the west side of Robinson Ferry Road and Ebony Road - clustered at the Hendricks Mill Road intersection .
This proposed rezoning opens up the east side of Ebony Rd and lies between a history home place and active farmland and historic Prospect Methodist Church and Cemetery.
When we start indiscriminately converting agricultural land to business, that is the beginning of selling out. We will forever lose the authentically rural country setting of this historic community that has been preserved since the first Ebony Post Office was established in 1882.
Approximate subject area proposed for rezoning with proximity to existing community stores and history church/cemetery. As the application is written, the rezoning proposal is for the full 8.36 acres of which Dollar General designated use if the 2.04 acres. The Planning Director responded that the rezoning is only being provisionally considered for the 2.04 acres.
In addition to the 2 local stores in Ebony, residents have access to other nearby Dollar General stores that are 10 miles or less away in Bracey (at I-85) and Gasburg. And just 6.5 miles away there is a Family Dollar along with Food Lion, Ace Hardware and DrugCo.
A Dollar General would add significantly more congestion to an intersection that is already known for traffic flow safety as well as dealing with the fact that Ebony General does not have designated driveway access across the road from the proposed Dollar General location adding more traffic complexity.
In addition the 500 feet line-of-sight requirements to the south of the proposed entrance to Dollar General is not met at 3.5 feet off the ground per VDOT requirements.
The image to the right shows the line of sight at 3.5 feet off the ground and you can see how the knoll blocks the view. If the 500 ft line of sight were clear you would be able to see the driveway entrance to Prospect Church.
This view shows the scenic byways and key artery for Lake Gaston traffic as other historic places of the community. This area is known for its authentic rural character, country stores, and connection to history.
Also promoting quality of lifestyle as an attractive element of Brunswick County as well as increasing tourism depends on preserving special places like this.