Massanutten residents working to incorporate area into town
Some in the Valley are hoping to create a new town, right in Rockingham County.
Gene Hauze and other residents of Massanutten have been working since September to gather signatures and educate their neighbors about a plan to incorporate Massanutten into a town.
Several dozen people gathered at a meeting on Friday afternoon to learn more about Hauze's progress. At the meeting, Hauze talked about the process of getting signatures. Hauze said he spoke with more than 1,500 people, or about 75% of people who live there. Of those, 56% signed the petition supporting turning Massanutten into a town.
Hauze said he and others have issues with the area, most recently the decision of Great Eastern Resort Management, who works with timeshares, to withdraw from the Massanutten Property Owners Association. The withdrawal is expected to lead to a loss of about $400,000 for the association.
"The last thing of course was Great Eastern wanting to withdraw from the association," Hauze said. "That was the final straw for a lot of people."
Hauze and others think turning the area into a town will help solve their concerns.
"I think there's some really benefits to all of our residents putting the town on good financial footing, having everyone pay their fair share." Andy Jezioro, a Massanutten resident said.
Kenny Hess said Great Eastern doesn't support turning Massanutten into a town. Hess said they think it would add a layer of unnecessary bureaucracy.
"It's a very narrow, small group of people that feel like this is a way for the town then to pay for some of the services that we feel the homeowners association should pay for."
Hauze said the next step is to take the petition to the General Assembly. He said he hopes local delegates and senators will sponsor a bill to incorporate the town. It would need to be passed by two thirds of each house.