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Neighbors fret over proposed rezoning for mega-site in Chester

Posted at 6:44 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 19:03:11-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. --Nestled along Brander’s Bridge Road is a piece of vacant land ripe for development; called “Matoaca Mega Site” though the land is in Chester.

But Mike Uzel, and many of the families who live in the nearby Stoney Glen community want the land to stay zoned the way it is, as residential.

“We just feel like it’s a great area to raise families," said Mike Uzel, Bermuda Advocates for Responsible Development.

The lifelong Chesterfield resident likes his peace and quiet.

Uzel and his neighbors don’t like the county’s desire to rezone the nearly 1,700 acres from residential to industrial. The rezoning would make way for a multi-million dollar mega site within the Bermuda district of the county.

"Speak Up" sign in neighborhood.

"Speak Up" sign in neighborhood.

“I’m very concerned about home values and quality of life," said Uzel. “We don’t know who will be at the site. We don’t know answers to questions about the road.“

He said there weren’t many answers at the heated community meeting, either.

Uzel sees a few other pitfalls like increased traffic, noise in the area and cost to the taxpayer.

And county leaders are listening.

“It’s disruptive. It’s change,” said Garrett Hart, Director, Chesterfield County Economic Development. ”I’m concerned about that. I want to be a success for everybody and that’s what we’re really trying to understand what the issues are.”

Hart said that rezoning the land will bring economic opportunities; he predicted it will bring up to 10,000 jobs to the county and region.

Sky 6 shows the undeveloped tract of land.

Sky 6 shows the undeveloped tract of land.

“What we are targeting is a major assembly facility…possibly automotive, aerospace, smart glass. We’re looking for a modern world class facility," said Hart.

Hart says they want a facility that would be well suited in the southern part of the county.

“The 95 corridor has most of the manufacturing in Chesterfield County. Chesterfield is the leading manufacturer locality in the region and one of the largest manufacturing localities in the state," Hart said.

Uzel is not a believer.

Chesterfield County Economic Development Director Garrett Hart

Chesterfield County Economic Development Director Garrett Hart

“Where’s the proof? You don’t even have a company that’s named to go there," he said.

County leaders say the proposed project is far from being a done deal. They are studying the transportation needs and impact on home values.

No word yet on next public hearing or when the issue will go before Chesterfield County's planning commission.

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