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Settlement story needed perspective
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Forsyth County News

I just wanted to provide some additional background to your article of June 19, 2008, regarding the settlement with Dewey White over the issue known as the “S  curve” of Mathis Airport Road. 

I was dismayed that your article failed to capture the degree of community uproar and involvement, in this matter.

This was the vanguard of future battles over controlling the development of the Highway 141 corridor — battles that ultimately led to the overlay district we now enjoy.

It was one of the first in recent memory where the concerns of the local citizens actually drove a county governmental decision.

Your article failed to note the extensive involvement of Smart Growth Forsyth County Inc. and the then new commissioner, Brian Tam, who worked hard to facilitate the numerous public meetings on this issue. 

These were highly contentious and often quite colorful as Mr. White s attorney presented in the face of strong community opposition. 

And finally, your article failed to touch at the heart of the issue — the difficult but necessary tension between the rights of land owners to sell or develop their property at highest value (or in this case, to receive compensation for a taking), the clear bias of the local courts to support these rights  (perhaps a reason that $1.3 M became $4.3 M?), and the permanent, enduring, and many times negative, impacts that affording those rights without temperance can bring to the quality of life of the communities that surround these properties.    

Bob Slaughter, founder,
Smart Growth Forsyth County Inc