To the Editor:

What about Western Chatham?

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Posted

Change, change, change. Growth, growth, growth. And rural Western Chatham fades without protection and appreciation.

Will rural Chatham interests also catch the public’s imagination? Can we also imagine what an Agricultural Reserve could mean for the farmers and residents of Western Chatham County, and our county population at large?

The county’s overall plan game has been in play years:

• Chatham Park scored a home run (pun intended).

• VinFast also scored a once-in-a-century grand slam in the upcoming EV (electric vehicle) World Series.

Western Chatham is losing ground fast in the batting lineup as the UDO under way now has yet to state protections for rural and farming and green space, agrarian farm economy, and Chatham County founding values such as church, hard work, helping neighbors, and visitor hospitality.

Chatham agriculture’s historic assets and values have been in every beginning written chapter of county master plans for the last 50 years, by comparison.

The momentum of change and growth is fully behind Chatham Park and and the VinFast EV factory, yet western Chatham County farm land is covered in growth dust and under-represented in the public’s mind. Tell me, elected officials and consultants: where is there a similar boost or win for our farm and county residents who ARE keeping our rural Chatham heritage intact?

Yet, 300 miles north of here, Montgomery County, Maryland, in 1980 was in Chatham’s 2020 growth craze being near Washington, D.C. What they did with an Agricultural Reserve land conservation policy is proven, valued, effective and inexpensive. Read about it here: https://montgomeryplanning.org/planning/agricultural-reserve/

They are poised to pave and develop Chatham paradises and put up a park-and-ride lot. Many I know say “NO” to a UDO and our commissioners. There still is time to protect rural Chatham county with an Agricultural Reserve program that will work very well.

Don Wollum
Pittsboro

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