Friday, August 06, 2010

Paraglider approved ... now could they redo the Rocket Boys case?

When neighbors protested the idea of a paraglider being launched from a nearby farm, they protested by saying it would scare the livestock. A demonstration for the Board of Zoning Appeals on the property Thursday proved the horses not only were not scared but never stopped eating as the paraglider took off. A Special Use Permit was granted to retired FBI agent Drew Richardson.

One reason given last summer for shutting down the Rocket Boys was that the rockets scared cattle on nearby farms even though the rockets were launched in a 500-acre field. Did the Board of Zoning Appeals drive out to see for themselves if the cows were spooked? Maybe that case could be reheard and the boys given the opportunity to once again practice rocketry in the wide-open spaces of western Augusta County....


Joy said...

I thought the same thing!

Valley said...

It amazes me that they are allowed to arbitrarily make whatever decisions they want. I wish someone would point out some of the similarities between this BZA request and the request by VAST. Both had issues raised by the neighboring landowners on the effects on horses and cattle. This request was situated on about 50 acres while VAST's request was on nearly 500 acres. I applaud the Board for making the decision to table this request in June in order to witness some flights first-hand before making their decision. What I don't understand is why wasn't VAST given the same consideration?? Why didn't the Board table VAST's request to attend a demonstration? VAST even invited the BZA members as well as other County staff to attend a launch (August, 2009) BEFORE the September BZA meeting was held. Not one single Board or staff member bothered to attend.

As I understand it, the Board has the right to reverse their decision on our request, but of course as long as they can continue to get away with making whatever decisions they want, they won't. What's left is a hobby rocketry club who works with the youth on developing STEM related educational programs to pay thousands of dollars to fight it out in Court.

This is just one more example of the BZA's arbitrary and capricious nature.

Chuck Neff
VAST President