Gas City LLC has requested a rezoning of 31-acres near the Interstate 81/ Route 11 interchange at Mauzy. At the July meeting, the planning commission tabled the request to allow county staff and the applicant an opportunity to address the concerns raised by neighbors about the commercial rezoning. The Alliance submitted these concerns.
Please contact each commissioner before the next meeting on Tuesday, August 2 at 6:30pm and state your opposition to this request.
Planning commissioners could decide to recommend approval or denial for the rezoning request at their August 2 meeting. There is no opportunity for official public comment at the meeting because the public hearing was held in July. Sending a letter before August 2 is the only way to let the planning commissioners know you oppose the project. Once planning commissioners make a decision on the rezoning, the request will go in front of the board of supervisors for consideration and another opportunity for public comment.
Why should Rockingham County deny this request?
It is not consistent with Rockingham County’s comprehensive plan
- This property is located within the county’s Agricultural Reserve and reducing amount of land in Agriculture Reserve is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan.
- Rezoning a property outside an urban development area to a more intensive commercial use doesn’t align with the county’s comprehensive plan.
- Tourism and agriculture are leading economic sectors in Rockingham County. A large-scale, high intensity commercial operation doesn’t align with the type of service (small scale, local, with individual character) the comprehensive plan envisioned as compatible with a robust local tourism economy.
It will degrade water quality
- The property is near Smith Creek, a major tributary of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and important source of water for our communities. For more than a decade, farmers and conservationists have worked together and invested significant resources to implement agricultural practices to restore clean water to this sensitive “showcase watershed.”
- Since there is no public sewer in this rural location, the developers are proposing a “package plant” to handle wastewater. These systems are prone to mismanagement and failure.
- Commercial development with expansive paved areas would cause a large volume of storm water runoff, carrying pollution into the nearby Smith Creek and possibly opening up new sinkholes in this heavily karst area.
Impact to rural character and neighbors
- There will be a potential increase in traffic congestion. Mixing a high intensity, heavily traveled commercial business with local traffic along Route 11, one of the major corridors for local travel, is certain to impact traffic, especially when incidents occur along the interstate.
- Light pollution, air pollution and 24- hour noise will change what is now a rural, open area of the county to an industrial use, paving the way for more intensive uses in the future.