CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County will host another community meeting on Thursday, Feb. 3 to gather input from residents on the proposed Magnolia Green development.
The massive proposed development, located to the West of the Swift Creek Reservoir, has attracted controversy, with residents at an earlier community meeting last December raising concerns over the environmental impacts of the project and the disruption it could bring to quiet, rural communities.
Currently, the county is working to win approval for a massive rezoning, affecting two parcels, which would split the project between a residential eastern section and industrial western section.
Breaking Down the Promises
The Upper Magnolia Green proposal is a complex project, but there are a few key promises the county has made – and a few key criticisms county residents have leveled in response.
First, the county says that before any high-tech research firms or new housing developments move in, the county absolutely must extend Powhite Parkway from its current abrupt end near Little Tomahawk Creek to Hull Street Road, to the West of Swift Creek Reservoir.
That’s an expensive proposition – in a blog post, the county said it could be a $700 million project. But Garrett Hart, Director of Chesterfield Economic Development, said the county would be “seeking help from the state and whoever else will give it to us” – help that he said would only come if the rezoning is approved.
That’s made some residents wary, as it would bring an influx of traffic to the area.
“When we moved out to Moseley, we moved out there with a purpose, an idea that we would have this quiet community,” said Cammie Bennet at a community meeting in December.
Upper Magnolia Green itself will have two faces: an industrial park and a new residential development.
The industrial park would be zoned for light industry and office uses, with county officials aiming to attract high-tech computer chip and plastics manufacturing.
The 700-acre eastern parcel would be split between 500 acres of single-family homes (totaling no more than 600 units) and 200 acres set aside for public use, including a proposed school complex with elementary, middle and high school facilities.