The Rockingham County Board of Supervisors will consider a rezoning and a special use permit (both are needed) for a truck stop at the Interstate 81/Route 11 interchange in Mauzy at their meeting on Wednesday, August 24 at 6pm.
Disappointingly, the request to rezone 31 acres of Agriculture Reserve land was narrowly approved by the Planning Commission, and now the final decision lies with the board of supervisors. If the board of supervisors approves the rezoning, it is very likely the character of Mauzy and the health of nearby Smith Creek will be forever changed.
The board must hear that county residents are opposed to the rezoning to make way for a truck stop! (Here is our letter of opposition.)
There will be an opportunity to submit public comments for the rezoning and the truck stop’s special use permit at this meeting, so please mark your calendars and plan to come prepared with two sets of comments.
The procedure at the board meeting will be that the rezoning will be considered first and then the special use permit. The rezoning will be for any hypothetical business allowed in the requested business interchange district zone. The special use permit hearing will be for the specific truck stop proposal.
We also encourage you to call each supervisor before the meeting to voice your concerns. You can find their phone numbers here. (If you’re having trouble reaching Supervisor Dewey Ritchie, District 1 at the number provided, try 540-908-9290.)
Tell the Board of Supervisors NO
Start making phone calls now!
(If you’re having trouble reaching Supervisor Dewey Ritchie, District 1 at the number provided, try 540-908-9290.)
Mark your calendar & come prepared with comments:
Wednesday, August 24 at 6pm
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.
- The new business interchange zoning isn’t addressed at all in the comprehensive plan and it is premature to use this new zoning prior to a comprehensive plan update that will further define the community’s vision for this area of the county.
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 area in the future.