Chesterfield commission approves re-zoning of Chester Middle

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Meg Thalhimer - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -Things were tense inside the public meeting room.  Planning commissioners were forced to go against the personal opinions and vote in favor of zoning Chester Middle School a freshman campus- but not before harshly slamming the school board for refusing to save Chester Middle.

The zoning change may have been approved 3-2, but planning commissioners were quick to oppose the school board's decision to close Chester Middle.

"The school board chose not to listen to you," said Clover Hill representative Russell Gulley. 

"There's an election coming up in 2011- in November and in my opinion all five of them should be replaced," said William Brown, Dale district representative.

Commissioners were upset that the Planning Department had to file the paperwork to re-zone Chester Middle a 9th grade campus.  In the past the school board filed the petitions.  Tuesday night not one school board member was there to hear the decision.

"Pedestrian accessibility is a big issue," said parent Heather Hart.  "Health and safety is a big issue.  There are lots of traffic concerns."

Residents showed up prepared to plead their case with an elaborate presentation. Commissioners agreed with residents reasons, but legally, couldn't deny the zoning change.
However, commissioners urged residents to continue to fight until Chester Middle's fate is decided.

There is still a possibility Chester Middle School could be saved because the board of supervisors has final approval.

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