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Opinion/Letter: County should honor environmental goals

Opinion/Letter: County should honor environmental goals

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While it is understood that the northern corridor of Albemarle County along U.S. 29 is designated as a “growth area,” the extent of the clear-cutting of trees and bulldozing of large swaths of land that have taken place recently is very disturbing.

Brookhill and North Pointe already have denuded acres and acres of trees, taking away a priceless resource: trees and other vegetation that absorb carbon emissions, help offset global warming, provide wildlife habitat and offer calming natural beauty — and leaving behind red clay everywhere.

Now, the recently proposed RST development intends to wipe out more of the natural landscape and replace it with a concrete-and-asphalt eyesore of parking lots and densely packed, out-of-scale, tall buildings. The development would provide inadequate tree buffers, open space, and community amenities.

All these developments will, of course, bring more cars, more traffic, more students to crowd schools — a very unsettling prospect.

I hope the Albemarle Planning Commission and County Board of Supervisors hold true to the main theme of Albemarle County’s Climate Action Plan to “protect the local natural environment” and to plan thoughtfully and responsibly now and in the years to come, fulfilling their responsibility to be good stewards for all residents of Albemarle County.

After all, as the plan says, it’s “as much about the kind of place we want to live here in the county as it is about reducing the community’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Perhaps recalling some wise lyrics from the 1970s is in order here. As Joni Mitchell sang: “...They paved paradise and put up a parking lot….” Catchy tune. But please do not make it our theme.

Tamera K. Hammond

Albemarle County

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