VERONA — A public hearing on a controversial rezoning in Greenville was postponed before Tuesday’s Augusta County Planning Commission meeting, but that didn’t stop a crowd from speaking out.
Residents living near the potential rezoning of 48 acres on Route 11 near Interstate 81 and the Riverheads schools urged the planning commission to deny the request. The rezoning from agriculture to business by Augusta County Company LLC mirrors a similar move by the LLC last fall that was withdrawn. The public hearing on the latest rezoning is set to be now heard in May.
Greenville residents fear the land in question, put together with another adjacent parcel, would be converted to a warehouse that would attract 2,500 vehicles — mostly tractor trailers — daily.
“Adding such a significant amount of traffic to an already stressed section of the county would have a negative impact on our entire community,” said former Riverheads District Supervisor Nancy Sorrells.
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Sorrells said a study is needed in the Greenville area to identify improvements to intersections, particularly at the intersection of Route 11 and Route 340. She said similar detailed plans were done in both Stuarts Draft and Fishersville.
“We need a community-led development plan for this area that addresses the current and future traffic and development,” Sorrells said.
Sorrells delivered a petition to the Augusta County Planning Commission on Tuesday night with 522 signatures opposing the rezoning and calling for a moratorium on any rezoning from the Riverheads school complex to the southern end of Greenville until a plan can be developed.
Sorrells was not alone. Diane Moody, who lives on Indian Ridge Road in Greenville, told the planning commission, “we don’t want a huge warehouse and 2,000 tractor-trailers a day.” Moody said she and other Greenville residents crave having input on the businesses seeking to locate in the community.
Phyllis Cox, a Greenville resident who lives near the proposed rezoning, said she recently found a bald eagle on her property. She asked the planning commission, “do you want a distribution center or eagle’s nest?” she asked.
The planning commission will not have the final say on the rezoning. Instead, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors will make the ultimate decision for or against.