CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Some Chesterfield residents are voicing concern over the proposed Upper Magnolia Green project.
The property is currently designated as residential, with the board of supervisors initiating the rezoning process for industrial use last fall. The plan includes transforming 2,400 acres into a technology village in Upper Magnolia West and schools and homes in Upper Magnolia East.
Chelsea Longbottom lives on the East border in the Westerleigh neighborhood, and says she’s concerned about increased traffic a project like this could bring.
“The neighborhood that we fell in love – the small, quaint fee; the reason we wanted to live out here; the reason we wanted to live in the western part of the county is being taken away,” she told 8News.
Jesse Smith, the county’s deputy county administrator, says the county is planning to have two schools at the end of Westerleigh Parkway and a high school planned for another site.
“This is not a finished product by any means,” Smith said.
He adds the plan could bring jobs, better infrastructure and help generations to come.
“My daughter who is seven – I think this could be a project that supports future employment for her,” he said. “We think it’s an important project for the growth of Chesterfield.”
Some Chesterfield residents a part of the Magnolia Coalition have placed signs along Westerleigh Parkway and Otterdale Road in opposition to the plan. Longbottom says she doesn’t oppose development, but wants a say in the plans.
“We want more of a mixed used development area out here – shopping, restaurants, wineries, places we can take our kids and family members,” she said.
Longbottom also says some residents have expressed frustrations over a lack of communication.
“I think we’re being heard, but nothing is final until it’s final so it feels like the job isn’t done yet.”
Smith says the earliest a final decision will be made by the Board of Supervisors would be in April.
County leaders say they welcome public input on the project, and are hosting a community meeting to discuss rezoning plans on Thursday, February 3. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m., and will be held in the Public Meeting Room at 10001 Iron Bridge Road. Residents can also tune in virtually on the Chesterfield County Virginia Government Facebook page.