Hickory Grove development would destroy rural character

For citizens who live in the Ashland to Hanover Courthouse corridor and enjoy its quiet rural beauty, the proposed Hickory Grove Mixed Use/B-2 residential, business and commercial development threatens to destroy a beautiful gateway to one of Hanover’s agricultural and historic areas.

For the B-2 commercial parcel the application proposes a 2800 s.f. fast food restaurant, a 5600 s.f.convenience store with 16 fueling stations and two (2) restaurants of 4000 s.f. and 7000 s.f. each. 

This development on the 51.5-acre parcel at the corner of Providence Church Road and Rte 54 is completely incompatible with the area’s rural character.

Many issues and concerns have arisen regarding this proposed development. They include:

  • Traffic, Traffic, Traffic on Under-capacity Roads

Hickory Grove will add more than 7120 vehicle trips/day. Worse, 6170 of those trips will result from the commercial development.

East Ashland, a development approved in 2010 but not yet built (across Rte 54), is projected to add over 33,000 daily vehicle trips.

More residential is slated behind Woodside Estates and between Woodside and Providence neighborhoods.

To date, an inaccurate Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) ignores East Ashland’s traffic impacts, and the County underestimates developer road cash contributions. Taxpayers will face underfunded, under capacity roads.

It all spells gridlock and noise for Rte 54 area neighborhoods: Jamestown Road, Woodside Estates, Providence and Burleigh Drive.

  • Commercial development abutting agricultural land and creating a “hard edge” with no transition between suburban and rural; 
  • Site prep = scraping, timbering and compaction adding more impervious surface and creating stormwater runoff issues and loss of green space;
  • A minimum of 79,517 s.f. of commercial and retail space allowed under the master plan, “Anywhere, USA,” adjacent to single family, semi-rural land uses;
  • Destroyed natural beauty on Rte 54, a gateway corridor linking historic Ashland and Hanover Courthouse districts through rural countryside;
  • Rerouting of historic Providence Church Road, further chipping away Hanover history.

Many areas of Hanover County are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from “Anywhere, USA” development. This portion so near the I-95 interchange could also be a casualty. Citizens: let your voice be heard. Refuse to allow poor planning to destroy your quality of life.

Contact your Supervisors:

https://www.hanovercounty.gov/427/Board-of-Supervisors

Contact your Planning Commissioners:

https://www.hanovercounty.gov/444/Planning-Commission

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing for the Hickory Grove case Thursday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the County Administration boardroom.

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