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Hanover County -
Working Hard to Undermine the Voice of the People?

The following document was shared to one of the facebook groups.  With the authors permission, we've tried to reformat it into a web friendly format with convenient links.  

The “Little” Deception


Sara A. was kind enough to author “The Great Deception.” If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.


This post is about two things: 1) the zoning sequence of the Airpark Associates land, along with that of the nearby subdivisions, and 2) the County’s (both elected leadership and staff) efforts to either lie or negligently disregard the truth about that sequence both directly and through proxies.


(Editors Note: Read Rod's description, then click the link immediately below it to read the original document. 


Warning - If you believe that all your county's employees are working to serve the citizens, this might be a painful read.)


Document 1

Evidently, Mr. Leadbetter wanted to be careful with the zoning sequence of the Airpark and nearby residential properties. For this he should be commended! Mr. Garman provides these dates, and the document speaks for itself.

Link: Email from Lee Garman, Planning Dept. to Larry Leadbetter, Planning Commissioner, dated February 14, 2020

Document 2

This email is in response to a letter authored by John Fairburn and published in the Mechanicsville Local. Note the quotation, “David and I reviewed it before it was published.”

Link: Email from Linwood Thomas, Director of Economic Development to Michael Flagg, Director of Public Works, David Maloney, Director of Planning, and Frank Harksen, Deputy County Administrator, dated January 8, 2020

Document 3

I will not address every inaccuracy in this letter, but it is interesting to note that Mr. Fairburn chides Ms. Messina for being “ill-informed of the history of Hanover County.” He then goes on to make his very first point, namely, “The subject property was rezoned in 1995, before there was even a Fox Head subdivision.” You will note that this statement is directly contradicted by Mr. Garman’s email. It is also contradicted by the fact that many speakers opposed to the 1995 rezoning were listed in the Supervisors meeting minutes as residents of Fox Head. Incidentally the home occupied by the author's family was built in 1992. Remember Mr. Fairburn’s name. This will become important on the next page.

Link: Text of the letter authored by John Fairburn and published in the Mechanicsville Local, January 8, 2020.


Document 4

The rest of the Board of Supervisors are copied, along with Thomas, Maloney, and Megan Dalzell (of the Planning Dept.) In this email, Mr. Peterson repeats that “The required zoning for this project was approved in 1995 prior to the development of Foxhead.”

It is unknown if Mr. Peterson got this information from Mr. Fairburn’s letter or from County Staff.

Mr. Peterson goes on to add that, “Any Wegmans request for zoning action will be our opportunity to enhance existing proffered protections for neighboring properties.” Let us hope that statement is sincere. This statement is off-topic, but nonetheless important as the Board of Supervisors consider proffer amendments.

Link: Email from Canova Peterson, Hanover County Supervisor to Jeff Hetzer, Fox Head resident, dated January 29, 2020.

Document 5

Note that the following memo was copied to a number of parties, including John W. Fairburn and Todd Benson.


Who was Todd Benson? Mr. Benson was the attorney hired by the residents of Fox Head and other nearby neighborhoods to negotiate what we now know as the “1995 proffers.” Unfortunately, Mr. Benson passed away several years ago. This memo is the Planning Staff’s conclusions regarding those proffers.


Who is Mr. Fairburn? The author of the letter published in the Mechanicsville Local, January 8, 2020! The letter reviewed by Messers. Thomas and Maloney prior to publication! Mr. Fairburn was the Hanover Director of Economic Development (Mr. Thomas’ current position) from 1988 – 1997. Mr. Fairburn was intimately involved with the 1995 rezoning and the 1995 proffers. He cannot claim ignorance of the zoning sequence involved here.


He is not just any former County employee. He is a former County employee that was directly involved in the events of 1995 that brought us here. The failure to identify himself as such in the Mechanicsville Local is in itself an attempt to deceive uninformed readers. He then proceeds to either invent or repeat information that he knows to be untrue.

Link: Memo from John Hodges, (then) Director of Planning to the Hanover County Planning Commission, dated January 19, 1995.

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