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Board turns down street name change

William and Tracey Virginia wanted to rename cul de sac in Cobblestone for his wife and her mother, Barbara Ann Lane. William and Tracey Virginia wanted to rename cul de sac in Cobblestone for his wife and her mother, Barbara Ann Lane.

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners said no Wednesday when the family of Barbara Ann Virginia tried a second time to rename a street in Flat Rock in her honor.


William Virginia and his daughter, Tracey, petitioned the county to rename Yorkshire Boulevard Barbara Anne Lane, in honor of his wife and her mother. Barbara Ann Virginia died on Jan. 15 of this year after suffering a stroke during treatment for cancer.
Her parents thought they had found perfect place to retire when they bought the lot in the Cobblestone subdivision off Greenville Highway south of the Flat Rock village boundary, Tracey Virginia told the board.
"We thought the perfect way to memorialize her is with the naming of the street," she said. "I know there is some opposition but I can't figure out why. I've seen many streets named after people."
The Virginias and Yorkshire Boulevard neighbor Jim Elgin disagreed on how many property owners on the 375-foot cul de sac supported the change. William Virginia said two out of three signed a petition in favor of it; Elgin said three out of four opposed it. (Virginia said later that when he submitted the request the original owner of one of the lots on Yorkshire had signed the petition in favor of the name change.)
The request was the second time the Virginias petitioned the county to change the name; in April they asked that it be renamed Barbara Anne's Mountain Place.
"I voted against changing the name last time it came before the board," said Commissioner Larry Young. "The reason I did is that when we started changing road names we did it to eliminate duplication so (emergency personnel) would know where to go and could look on their GPS and find out where that street was. To memorialize people by naming a street after them is a pretty big deal because it does change the name in the minds of the emergency personnel. I feel like Yorkshire is maybe a name that would incorporate all the people that live on it."
Commissioner Tommy Thompson also opposed the change, and suggested a policy change imposing a one-year period between street name petitions.
"I'm still uncomfortable in going through this again in that I think it's a second bite of what we didn't accomplish the first time," Thompson said. He suggested the policy change on petitions "so that we're not time and time again dealing with this thing. Frankly, with two out of three residents in opposition, I can't see going over their desires. I would not be able to support it."
Commission Chairman Charlie Messer said he had never seen a second street name change petition in a three-month period in the 14 years he had served on the board. Elgin told the board that he and a neighbor had offered to cover two-thirds of the cost of a street sign at the Virginias' driveway that would say Barbara Anne Lane.