by Audrey Thomasson
LANCASTER—County officials are hoping the July sale of MetroCast to Canadian cable giant Cogeco Communications could bring broadband to the Northern Neck.
At last week’s planning commission meeting, board of supervisors chairman and liaison to the planning commission William Lee indicated the sale of local cable provider MetroCast could open negotiations for broadband.
Cogeco purchased the company through it’s subsidiary, Atlantic Broadband, which covers customers from Maine to Florida. MetroCast’s assets will add some 236,000 homes and businesses to their network in New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
Lee noted other communities have already signed new contract agreements, but Lancaster hopes to negotiate a deal “to maybe get something built in.”
Many rural counties in Virginia do not have access to broadband.
In other business, planners continued to move the county’s zoning ordinances through a review process by approving minor changes to three more articles.
After a public hearing without comment, planners unanimously approved amendments to sections addressing sign regulation, nonconforming uses and general provisions.
Voting for approval were Glen Pinn Jr., Tara Booth, Steve Sorensen and Bob Smart. Members Tom Richardson and David Chupp did not attend the meeting.
Planning and land use director Don Gill recommended only minor changes to the next set of articles, including enforcement, amendments, administration and interpretation, to make them consistent with others. A public hearing on those articles will be held September 21.
“Article 14 will be sent to the board of zoning appeals for review,” said Gill. The article addresses the appeal process.