The Buncombe County Commissioners’ meeting did not go well. On the agenda was a request to unrezone 47 acres owned by the Landgrover family. After listening to a lot of he-said-she-said, the commissioners concluded a neighbor had indeed represented the Landgrovers as supporting a petition they were on record for opposing, but out of town and not in receipt of public notices. The county failed to follow a technicality that requires extra effort for noticing people being zoned at somebody else’s request.

The worst part was all the talk about community rights and democracy. Thought I, “That’s right.” We are a nation of community rights and democracy because that’s what the schools teach, and the majority is voting people who embrace those ideas into office. The written Law of the Land and the oath of office to uphold it is as cogent to community organizers as those small-print legalsese forms banks and hospitals send out asking the undersigned to thereby affirm they have read and understood the incomprehensible.

The logic used by the speakers on both sides was rotten for the most part. For example, the current R1 zoning would allow 94 units on the property, with two cars per unit, or 188 more cars on the roads, which, we know from every single public hearing, are dangerous for children. Speakdrs said the roads were already dangerous, so I’m not sure why a 95th car from an R2 zoning was going to be the breaking point. In another string of complaints, the Landgrovers were held up as despicable for not having their mail forwarded.

And then a miracle happened. The commissioners spoke about property rights and following the rule of law, and the vote favored letting the Landgrovers revert their zoning to the way they preferred it.

But then, Ricky and Harry Coates’ request to include RV parks as an allowed use in Commercial Service districts went bad. Commissioner Joe Belcher spoke in favor of the allowed use, but he did not get backing. I didn’t like how the P&Z decision to deny the rezoning of one parcel was used as if it applied to the entire countywide zoning definition, and I thought the worst-case scenario objections of county staff were a bit fetched.

The commissioners had two economic development issues to discuss in closed session. I was trying to be nice and not say that if Ricky wanted to expand his business to meet demand, when the only thing standing in the way was government; he should have applied for some taxpayer money. Just like any second-grader can explain why tunneling through wormholes can fix the flaws in particle theory gone-mad, one must not question the mysterious ways of a government that adds by subtracting. It would be very difficult to believe there was not an undercurrent here.

In another matter of grand importance, Hayley Benton over at the Mountain Xpress apparently has more time off than other reporters, so she was able to wait for the commissioners to emerge from closed session, the agenda of which appeared to grow twice Tuesday. Following the session, the commissioners voted unanimously to pay more than $7 million to five gentlemen “wrongfully convicted under former Sheriff Bobby Medford’s watch.” The men had been serving anywhere from 6-11 years, and no mention was made of the charges or why they were false. County attorney Curt Euler was credited for talking the payment down from $17 million.