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Chesterfield leaders approve Upper Magnolia Green rezoning plan

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 6:47 PM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 7:22 AM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - After months of discussion, the rezoning cases for Upper Magnolia Green were approved by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, Thursday night.

The vote comes as dozens of Chesterfield residents made their concerns heard over the project, including rezoning more than 2,000 acres of Upper Magnolia purchased by Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority in December 2020.

The current rezoning cases were split into two parts, which are separated by the proposed Powhite Parkway extension.

Rezoning vote expected for upper Magnolia Green
Rezoning vote expected for upper Magnolia Green

In Upper Magnolia West, which is more than 1,700 acres of land shaded in purple on the map above, the county said there’s a plan to rezone this area to I-2 with a goal to open a technology village with employment-generating uses, including advanced manufacturing, research and development, and offices.

This section was voted by the board 3-2 with supervisor Ingle and Carroll voting it down.

In previous meetings, county leaders said this land would provide an economic boost to the area and bring in more job opportunities.

“I think Chesterfield County has an opportunity to develop one of the most distinctive and attractive site-related assets in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Jason El Koubi, interim president of Virginia Economic Development Partnership, during a Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 26.

In Upper Magnolia East, roughly 700 acres of land are shaded in orange on the map above; the county plans to rezone this area for detached single-family development and public facilities, including schools.

This case was voted unanimously by the board.

Outside his home near Otterdale Road, Christopher Williams has a “Magnolia Megasite” sign to show his opposition to the current rezoning plans.

Williams supports economic opportunities but believes this project will do more harm than good for traffic and the environment.

“I don’t know who puts a development like that real close to a residential area,” Williams told NBC12. “I don’t think this project has had enough resources and planning on it to determine the impact is going to be.”

In the Westerleigh area, neighbors also have similar concerns.

Dan Wolf, who is a member of the Westerleigh Homeowner’s Association Advisory Board, said the community is generally supportive of rezoning plans for Upper Magnolia East. However, Wolf said

“We do still have some pretty significant concerns,” Wolf said. “We’re not opposing it as a community, but we’re asking for more detailed planning to be done by the county.”

Wolf said those concerns center around the environmental impacts, including sources for drinking water.

“That area to the west of our community has a lot of wetlands and tributaries that feed into the Swift Creek Reservoir, which is one of the county’s primary drinking water supplies,” he said. “Mistakes that are made with our drinking water will be highly impactful.”

Wolf said there are also concerns about how these plans can impact traffic.

“It’s no secret that the roads around here are not sufficient for the amount of growth we already have,” said Wolf.

The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting started at 6 p.m. You can watch it here.

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