Public hearing set for topsoil operation in Chesterfield County

Chesterfield County
Newbys Bridge Road dredging site

The Chesterfield County Planning Commission voted Tuesday to defer the public hearing on a proposed site for dredging operations at Newbys Bridge Road. (Photo: Olivia Jaquith)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Planning Commission is set to hold a public hearing Tuesday on a rezoning request to make way for an operation to create plant material from the soils that are excavated from lakes and ponds, resulting in dredging operations.

The property in question is a 23.63-acre site located at 5921 Newbys Bridge Road.

According to county documents, the rezoning request was filed by Matt Zubey, Vice President of Operations/Sales at Richmond-based Harbor Dredge & Dock. The general contractor specializes in dredging, marine, utilities, stormwater management, and dam and lake service projects. The plan is for Harbor Dredge & Dock to take soil that is excavated from offsite lakes and ponds to the property at Newby Bridge Road, which will then be used to create topsoil and plant material on site.

The agenda item for Tuesday’s meeting shows that staff has recommended approval for one part of the request and denial for another part of the request.

The first part of the request deals with rezoning from Light Industrial to General Industrial District. According to county documents, moderate to intense manufacturing uses, including the processing of raw materials with outdoor storage yards, are appropriate, in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Designation of Industrial. The applicant reportedly will be responsible for landscaping to help mitigate the impacts of this use on the surrounding properties.

But the second part of the request, which staff has recommended for denial, sought exceptions to the mandatory connection to public water and wastewater, in order to allow for the development of 22,500 gross square feet of office, wholesale greenhouse, hothouse and warehouse use. According to the agenda item for Tuesday meeting, the Utilities Department does not support these exception requests because there is a viable way to serve this site with public water and wastewater without topographical, capacity or other underground utility conflict issues.

The property is currently a vacant, cleared lot with trees and vegetation surrounding the perimeter. Across Newbys Bridge Road and Hagood Lane and to the east of the property are developed single-family dwellings.

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