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Bedford County’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) said “goodbye” to Becky Wuergler with a reception Tuesday night. Wuergler, along with Mark Martin, were the two remaining charter members of the BZA from its formation in 1989. Members of the BZA are appointed by the circuit court and Wuergler has announced that she won’t seek reappointment.
According to Wuergler, the BZA was formed when Bedford County adopted the Land Use Guidance System (LUGS) that year. LUGS preceded the county’s conventional zoning ordinance, which was adopted in 1998. Wuergler said that a BZA had to be appointed in order for LUGS to take effect.
“Tony [Ware] said, ‘Do you want to be on it?’” Wuergler said, describing how she originally got on the board.
Ware was on the Bedford County Board of Supervisors at that time, representing District 5. Although the circuit court appoints BZA members, the supervisors make recommendations.
Wuergler liked LUGS better than she likes the current zoning ordinance.
“It was complicated, but it had way more citizen input,” she said.
Wuergler still plans to be active in other public areas.
“The Big Otter Mill Foundation takes a huge amount of time,” she said.
The foundation’s purpose is to restore and preserve the Big Otter Mill, located on Va. 122, north of Bedford. The distinctive 80-year-old grist mill ceased operation in 1950 and all of its machinery is intact. Wuergler is president of the foundation’s board of directors.
“The Chamber of Commerce is still my passion,” she added.
And then, there’s politics.
“I’ve been involved in politics since the 1970s,” she said.
Both the board of supervisors and her fellow BZA members presented her with framed resolutions honoring her for her service.