Carroll Report Mt Airy

Keep Mt. Airy Small: Things we’re thankful for…

This article brought to you by Citizens Against Mt. Airy Overdevelopment (C.A.M.O.).

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we thought it would be a great time to talk about how grateful we are for community involvement. We’re talking about you! All the town meetings you have watched, public comments you have made, emails you have sent, votes you have cast, and time you have spent talking with your friends and neighbors about development issues in town have made a big difference.

Fighting to keep our small town charm is a marathon, not a sprint. Developers count on citizens losing interest over time.

You have not.

Here are just a few of the things you have accomplished:

Increased awareness

  • Grew the Citizens Against Mount Airy Overdevelopment Facebook group–a key outlet for sharing awareness–to almost 1600 members.
  • Published 34 blog posts informing citizens about development and related town government activities
  • Highlighted overdevelopment so it became a central issue in the 2023 Town Council election.
  • Informed the town about proposed charter amendments which would have stripped the mayor of his authorities and turned the position into nothing more than a figurehead and further empowered the town council. The charter amendment resolutions are no longer up for adoption.

Influenced changes to development proposals

  • Hundreds of citizens showed up to multiple town meetings and public hearings about development. Your presence spoke volumes!
  • Beck Development*:
    • Kaz Brothers abandoned ship
    • Residential units decreased by 30% (it’s still too dense, but it’s not over)
    • New development team was required to hold a charrette, giving you a chance to share your feedback
    • ~60% of residential units were changed to senior housing, reducing impact on schools
  • Greentree Development*:
    • Reduced density to 58 townhomes and included 5 single family to complement the neighborhood on North Main.
    • More usable park space for future residents was added
    • Villas for main-floor living were included

*Both of these still need citizen involvement to advocate for improvements

Changed legislation

  • Adoption of 2023-30: Preserves open space in mixed use developments by requiring the same open space formula as any other development when the town is in an open space deficit. This “righted the wrong” that was Ordinance 2021-16 which said mixed use developments didn’t have to comply.
  • Adoption of 2023-32: Changes mixed use zoning requirements. Increased open space requirements to 30% from 10% and reduced the number of townhomes per row.
None of this would have been possible without YOU, Mount Airy. Let’s keep it up in 2024!
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