The Louisa County Planning Commission recommended rezoning 700 acres for the Shannon Hill Regional Business Park, but some members warned the project will result in unanticipated costs.
Chief among them is the potential impact on Shannon Hill Road (Rt. 605). Commissioners John Disosway and Chairman Holly Reynolds (Green Springs district) said the road, which links Interstate 64 to the Mineral area, is ill-equipped to handle traffic they believe the business park will bring.
Commissioners voted to support rezoning the park from agricultural to industrial use by a 4-2 margin at their May 9 meeting. Disosway (Mineral district) and George Goodwin (Cuckoo district) opposed the rezoning. Commissioner Ellis Quarles (Patrick Henry district) was absent.
“I have not met one person who has said, ‘I want this,’” Disosway said of the business park. “If we had private industry walking in the door, then we [would be] able to understand what they’re doing and the impacts.”
Goodwin and Disosway said the land should not be rezoned until a master plan is completed.
Andy Wade, the county’s economic development director, said that process will take eight to nine months. The county shouldn’t put off the rezoning, he said, because it could lose potential park tenants.
“In this business you’ve got to have sites ready to go or you get eliminated,” he said.
Still, Wade said the county would develop the business park one site at a time. The first site could be as small as 40 acres. Moreover, the county could rely on well water and a septic system for the first tenant if water from the James River isn’t available in time.
The park’s master plan and the second round of due diligence is contingent on a $600,000 state grant. State officials will meet June 24 to consider the grant application. The scope of work for the master plan, to be prepared by Timmons Group of Richmond, includes meetings with the community, Wade said.
“We are looking at doing this where the comprehensive plan says, ‘This is going to be a growth area to the interstate,’” Commissioner Greg Jones (Louisa district) said, arguing against putting off the rezoning.
(Article by David Holtzman)
This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s May 16, 2019 issue.