Opponents Preach Against Zoning

God opposes zoning, two speakers told the Vance County Board of Commissioners Monday evening.

Another resident offered a historic and political talk on the importance of private property rights in urging commissioners to eschew zoning. Just one person voiced support for the zoning initiative during the public comment period of Monday’s meeting.

The crowd’s feelings seemed to run against zoning even more strongly than the three-to-one ratio of speakers suggested. About 100 people attended the meeting, with more than a dozen standing by the back and sides of the room. Nearly every person not elected in or employed by Vance County appeared to sport an orange no-zoning sticker bearing the Web address www.FreedomWorks.org.

Johnny Alston, pastor of Greater Ransom Way of the Cross Church, attacked the county board for ignoring hungry and unemployed people while spending money on zoning. Some in the crowd laughed and applauded when Alston called the commissioners “fat cats” who don’t care about those who go without.

A few members responded to the pastor as if he were preaching from the pulpit. “I don’t want no zoning,” Alston said loudly. He then repeated the phrase “No zoning” three times. Some spectators echoed him after each repetition.

Finished Alston: “-to stop me from doing what God wants me to do.”

A moment later, he told the board: “If I have to go to the Almighty about you, I will. And I guarantee you’ll He’ll do something about you.”

Alston expressed the fear that zoning would block his efforts to create housing developments.