“The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result.” – Albert Einstein
Neighbors, have you ever visited the Marquis area of York County on Rt. 199 near I-64? Originally, Marquis was envisioned by our York County Planners as a “Mixed-use” community that would rival New Town in James City County, Hampton Town Center, or Oyster Point Town Center in Newport News. After almost two decades of repeated failures to properly plan this community, today Marquis is nothing more than a few awkward big box stores, a closed JC Penney, and 600 high-density Ryan homes way off in the back where nobody can see them. Those 600 homes are a result of a rezoning after the “Mixed-use” failure. An apartment complex parcel amongst this mass of failure is also on the books. A recent York County memo to the Board of Supervisors warns the Marquis debacle may soon get even worse.
In addition to Marquis, York County has tried several smaller “Mixed-use” endeavors over the years with near-universal failure. Today, our Comprehensive Plan STILL advocates for these “Mixed-use” communities. Developers love the “Mixed-use” idea because they can cram many more homes into space that is not zoned for high-density housing and the business component they promise never shows up.
Today, property near the old Williamsburg Pottery in Lightfoot and a swath of land near Queens Lake called the “Egger Property” are listed as “Mixed-use” in the Comprehensive Plan. We must insist on the removal of all “Mixed-use overlays” which remain on the last large tracts of land because they DO NOT WORK in York County. When Mixed-use communities fail, we all end up carrying the burden of dense housing, abandoned commercial endeavors, traffic congestion, crowded schools, and higher taxes.