Hickory Grove denied by Supervisors

Applications to usher in the massive 52-acre Hickory Grove high density residential and commercial development at the intersection of Rte 54 and Providence Church Road were both denied by Supervisors in a public hearing Wednesday, August 24.

Supervisors voted 6-1 to deny the comprehensive plan amendment (CPA2021-00001) for a land use change to Commercial, Suburban General and Suburban High. On a 7-0 vote, the rezoning request (REZ2021-00014) for the 203 townhomes and three speculative commercial sites, was denied.

The interstate-type commercial and high density residential posed incompatible uses adjacent to the existing single family homes along Jamestown Road, Burleigh Drive, Rte 54 and the Providence, Woodside and Wintercrest neighborhoods.

Hanover citizens have long favored retention of rural character by preserving a gradual transition between suburban and rural. With its commercial and high density residential components, this development was the antithesis of a gradual transition.

Traffic volume itself was a big issue. CHF calculated 4725 additional weekday daily traffic vehicle trips (vpd) would be generated under Suburban General, Suburban High and Commercial land use.

Go here to see the calculations for the proposal with the above land uses versus Suburban General only.

CHF and citizens consistently cited the negative effects of the Hickory Grove development: increased traffic on Rte 54 and cut-through traffic to adjacent roads and neighborhoods; destruction of rural viewshed; leapfrogging commercial from the I-95 corridor; more light, noise and litter pollution.

CHF continues to advocate for gradual transitions to rural areas and appropriate juxtaposition of land uses — both vital topics to consider under a comprehensive approach to land use planning. 

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Hickory Grove public hearing is August 24; mammoth proposal has mammoth issues

Hickory Hill II, LLC (the applicant) needs both a comprehensive plan amendment (CPA2021-00001) and a rezoning (REZ2021-00014) for its proposed Hickory Grove development.

First, Comprehensive Plan Amendment CPA2021-00001 is needed by applicant to change land use to Commercial, Suburban High and Suburban General.

This Comprehensive Plan Amendment is an inappropriate land use change for this area:  

  • It hardens the transition between suburban and rural along Rte 54 
  • Encourages leapfrogging commercial sprawl from the I-95 corridor 
  • Suburban High residential and Commercial land uses are not compatible with the existing Suburban General (residential-single family homes) on Woodside Lane or the two nearby Rural Cluster developments

Second, the companion Rezoning REZ2021-00014 for Business and Residential is also an inappropriate land use change for this area

  • Traffic: This rezoning would add an estimated 4820 additional vehicle trips per day. I-95 is gridlocked on a daily basis and turns into a parking lot on weekends. Numerous cars, tractor trailers and other vehicles seek alternate routes on East Patrick Henry Road, Mt. Hermon Road and Goddins Hill Road. This is dangerous!
  • Residential: Suburban General and Suburban High will bring:
  • 203 residential units on 42 acres (72 townhomes on 24.24 acres, Suburban General; 131 townhomes on 18.73 acres, Suburban High) 
  • Average density of 4.72 dwelling units per acre
  • Commercial (9 acres) fronts on Rte 54 and is inappropriate for this area:
  • Three (3) speculative commercial parcels are proposed on 9 acres fronting on East Patrick Henry Road 
  • Overbuilding in the face of declining demand as well as existing commercial vacancies on west side of I-95
  • Business hours unknown
  • Traffic, traffic, traffic
  • Encourages sprawl into rural transition area
  • Incompatible with existing residential neighborhoods
  • Compromises the historic corridor from Ashland to the Courthouse

In short, the Hickory Grove development threatens:

  • destruction of the rural viewshed east of Ashland
  • increased traffic on overburdened Rte 54 and adjacent roads
  • cut-through traffic on Jamestown Road, Mt. Hermon Road, and Goddins Hill Road
  • leapfrog interstate commercial a mile from the I-95 corridor 
  • light and noise pollution, increased impervious surface 
  • environmental degradation, loss of rural character

The public hearing for CPA2021-00001 and REZ2021-00014 is

Wednesday, August 24, 6:00 p.m.

at the Board of Supervisors meeting in the County Administration Boardroom.

If you cannot attend and speak, please contact your Supervisors:

Faye O. Prichard (Ashland District), foprichard@hanovercounty.gov

R. Allen Davidson (Beaverdam District), radavidson@hanovercounty.gov

Angela Kelly-Wiecek (Chickahominy District), chair, ackelly@hanovercounty.gov

F. Michael Herzberg (Cold Harbor District), fmherzberg@hanovercounty.gov

Sean Davis (Henry District), vice chair, smdavis@hanovercounty.gov

W. Canova Peterson (Mechanicsville District), wcpeterson@hanovercounty.gov

Susan P. Dibble (South Anna District), spdibble@hanovercounty.gov

Go HERE to read the CHF Position Paper for CPA2021-0001, Hickory Hill II, LLC, comprehensive plan amendment

Don’t allow your future to be handed to you!

Let your voice be heard for a good quality of life in Hanover.

Luck Farm Market: wrong development, wrong site

Applications to pave the way for the proposed Luck Farm Market on the west side of Ashland are up for public hearings before the Ashland Planning Commission Wednesday, August 10, 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall.

This development is wrong for this area because it is now mostly semi-rural residential. The application batch includes planning gymnastics of comprehensive plan amendment, a rezoning request, an ordinance change and two conditional use permits (CPA2022-03, REZ22-0414 & ORD2022-04, CUP22-0627A & CUP22-0627B) in order to cram Luck Farm Market next to a rural conservation residential area, a pre-school and a care facility. The Market, if approved, would then occupy a 3.6 acre parcel of what is now open space buffer.

The loss of green space, the increase in traffic, additional noise and light pollution, increase in impervious surfaces, loss of a soft transition between suburban and rural — all of these are palpable environmental and aesthetic changes that do not advance a good quality of life. No amount of proffers would make this square peg fit into a round hole.

Moreover, the residents living in the rural conservation community of Luck Farm deserve better than this retrofitted commercial development. They bought into the community, among other things, on a concept of quiet, rural character.

Hardening of a current gentle transition between suburban and rural is unwelcome.

Time to say NO: Hickory Grove and Luck Farm Market are poorly conceived proposals

A public hearing for the Hickory Grove cases – a comp plan amendment and a rezoning – is scheduled for the August 24 Board of Supervisors’ meeting in their evening session at 6:00 p.m.

Applicant Hickory Hill II, LLC is seeking a comprehensive plan amendment (CPA2021-00001) to change the land use on 52 acres at the intersection of Rte 54 and Providence Church Road to Commercial, Suburban General and Suburban High for a massive, suburban-style development.

The proposed rezoning (REZ2021-00014) features a total of 203 townhomes (RS, single-family and RM, multi-family) crammed on approximately 43 acres and three speculative commercial pad sites on 9 acres fronting on Rte 54.

The Hickory Grove development would create a hardened, suburban-type boundary east of Ashland with all the thorny issues: increased traffic on overburdened Rte 54, cut-through traffic on Jamestown Road, leapfrog interstate commercial a mile from the I-95 corridor, light and noise pollution, increased impervious surface, environmental degradation and loss of rural character.

This type of aggressive development fractures the gentle transition between suburban and rural, the very characteristic undergirding the rural character that Hanover citizens value. This development is unacceptable, grievously so, especially in light of the ongoing Comprehensive Plan update when energy and attention need to be focused on comprehensive, not piecemeal, land use planning.

To the west of Ashland, another festering set of cases . . .

Ashland Planning Commission will conduct public hearings August 10, 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall on three connected cases from applicant Todd Rogers, Rogers-Chenault, Inc., involving a 3.642-acre parcel for Luck Farm Market, a proposed restaurant and farmers market-style grocery store development.

CPA2022-03 seeks a Comprehensive Land Use change on the parcel from Open Space classification to Neighborhood Commercial.

REZ22-0414 & ORD2022-04 request rezoning of the parcel from Residential Rural to Neighborhood Commercial.

CUP22-0627A & CUP22-0627B request conditional use permits, respectively, for the farmers market-style grocery store and restaurant over 2500 square feet. Both are permitted uses within the Neighborhood Commercial zoning district.

Many residents are dismayed by the jarring changes Luck Farm Market would bring. Loss of open space buffer; hardening of a transition into a residential area previously developed as Rural Conservation; more traffic, light and noise. At its core, the development would damage the transition between suburban and rural.

Be in contact with your elected and appointed officials of Town and County. https://hanoversfuture.org/Contacts/

Don’t allow your future to be handed to you.

The citizen voice matters.

Hanover citizens: Comp Plan workshops need your input

Growth management. Better development design standards. Rural preservation. More open and green space.

These issues and more are on the table as Hanover’s Comp Plan update process moves forward.

Envision Hanover has announced dates for two interactive workshops. See dates and times:

Thursday, July 28, 2022 (5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Montpelier Center for Arts and Education

17205 Mountain Road

Montpelier, VA 23192

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 (5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Atlee Branch Library

9212 Rutlandshire Drive

Mechanicsville, VA 23116

Citizens will work in small groups to discuss future land uses in the County. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Visit www.envisionhanover.com/upcoming-events or call (804) 365-6171 for registration and more information.

Coming up this week . . .

The Community Participation Team meets Thursday, July 14, 6:00 p.m. at Ashland Branch Library. This advisory group is composed of Hanover’s seven Planning Commissioners and seven citizen appointees from the magisterial districts. Citizens’ Time is part of the agenda.

Click here to view the agenda and documents related to the CPT’s activity from its June 8 inaugural meeting.

Stay in touch with your elected and appointed officials. Visit https://hanoversfuture.org/Contacts/  for contact information.

Your County. Your future. Thank you.