By Brian Wheeler
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Greg Quinn, a self-described constitutional conservative, found himself in a “conundrum” before the Albemarle County Planning Commission this week. His mission: Seek local government’s help intervening in a neighbor’s building plans.
The backyard neighbor? A non-denominational Christian church seeking to build a 400-seat sanctuary, and a less than regulation size soccer field, on 21 wooded acres in the county’s rural area off Dickerson Road. The congregation currently holds services at Sutherland Middle School.
In recent years, Quinn has been a critic of the county’s sustainability initiatives and programs aimed at reducing carbon emissions. He lobbied successfully, with the local Tea Party, to get the county to withdraw its membership in ICLEI, citing inappropriate intervention by the United Nations and the federal government in local policy.
“My land is mine, it’s deeded in my name, and until Albemarle County or the rest of the community owns it, it’s my business what I do with my land,” Quinn told the Albemarle supervisors in February 2011. “I’m getting sick and tired of being told what to do, especially by the international community.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, Quinn told the commission he was a strong proponent of private property rights, but he thought the plan could be improved.
“I am not opposed to a church, but what I am opposed to is the impact to Piney Mountain and the close proximity to the road,” Quinn said. “We’ve got bird watchers and Tea Partiers on the same mountain, and we all get along very well.”