Chesterfield residents frustrated with ‘lack of community input’ in proposed Upper Magnolia project

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– Chesterfield County residents are concerned about a new industrial site that could be coming to their area.

Chesterfield County officials believe the proposed Upper Magnolia site is a huge development opportunity.

In 2017-2018, the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority office realized the county was running out of industrial land and product. In Dec. 2020, the office purchased the Upper Magnolia Green property.

“We were not being able to compete with the region or the state or the nation for projects that we would very much like to have,” said Garrett Hart, who is the Director at Chesterfield Economic Development.

Hart and team members presented updates to the board of supervisors yesterday.

The property is currently designated as residential, part of the Magnolia Green zoning approved in 1991. The board of supervisors initiated rezoning for industrial use, with plans for a technology park proposed in Upper Magnolia West. The project would go along with the planned extension of Powhite Parkway, which would run through the area.

Some residents are pushing back, saying they would like to see more environmental research and traffic studies.

Victoria Sagstetter lives on 30 acres of green space along the west border.

“I don’t think putting a large manufacturing plant is going to be good for property values,” Sagstetter said.

Sagstetter also said many residents enjoy the quiet scenery.

“People love that about here and they don’t mind commuting to work,” Sagstetter said.

The Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority is aiming to create jobs and revenue.

Christina Goodpaster lives near Upper Magnolia East where developers hope to build homes and schools.

“The people that live here have jobs already and they’re probably not in manufacturing plants,” Goodpaster said. “I don’t see a need for it here.”

On the other hand, many residents agree with the need for schools in the area.

However, some residents have voiced frustrations about a ‘lack of communciation.’

“To tell us like a month before that that’s the plan and that’s what we’re voting on with no community input is kind of scary,” Goodpaster said.

According to Chesterfield County, community meetings are pending and will be announced in January. At this time, the board of supervisors plan to make a decision in February.

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