Development Despite Water

The Board of Supervisors is facing a tough situation: a proposed new development in an area without enough groundwater to support the new population, but they don’t have the power to prevent it. Jessica Kitchin writes in today’s Daily Progress that the Glen Oaks subdivision, south of 250 in eastern Albemarle, intends to create thirty new lots despite members of the nearby Running Deer subdivision often lacking enough water for their own needs. Although the 2004 groundwater ordinance requires developers to assess whether there’s enough water available, it prevents the county from rejecting a development on that basis.

The developer figures that if he were allowed to spread the houses out more, there might be more water available. But the problem posed by this is larger than the immediate concern. Why in the world must we permit new developments to be built when we lack the resources to support them? Must property rights amount to a metaphorical murder-suicide pact?

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