Letter to the Editor — Boards actions concerning

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022

To the Editor:

My husband and I purchased a home located on Darlington Heights Road., Cullen in June 2018. I attended the Feb. 8 public hearing regarding the proposed slaughter house/meat processing facility. If passed by the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors it will be located two properties east of our home and within a residential area.

The gentleman who presented his request was business like, thorough, respectful and polite. When the board members began to speak, it seemed as if the 40 some folks that were there in opposition to the proposal along with the 201 signatures on the petition were completely irrelevant. One board member, who spoke toward the end, commented on an alleged call she received where the caller expressed concern about the applicant being a Muslim. She went on to add how she saw this as racist and felt that everyone had a right to be a business owner. I couldn’t connect how that had anything to do with what was said by the speakers that presented their concern. The room where most of us sat was about one third African American who represented Darlington Heights in opposition to this facility being located in the neighborhood. I personally never considered it being a matter of race, as when I first heard of it I had no idea who the applicant was so that statement certainly doesn’t represent me or anyone I have spoken to in our community.

I am concerned about this type of business being two properties down from my house and what negative impact that it will have on my and surrounding properties. In addition, my understanding of what one speaker suggested was trying to help the man find a place more appropriate for his business which would not only benefit him but for our neighborhood to maintain the quality of life we all appreciate and enjoy by living here. I was encouraged by his willingness to reach out and bring a solution to the situation.

It would have been encouraging if the board members would have embraced the idea of the applicant, the community and the board members working together to find a better solution that would not adversely impact a residential community. Instead, I felt like the comments made by one board member was intended to create division within our community and totally inappropriate. It is my belief that some members of this board are unconcerned with the wishes of the community. I hope you will consider the request from our community and not approve this applicant’s request for this facility at this location.

Regards,

V. Grace Burgess

Darlington Heights