Town Council defers Ironhorse CPA for 30 days

In its April 18 meeting, Ashland Town Council voted 5-0 to defer CPA2022-06 Ironhorse Business Park for another 30 days with plans to hold another community meeting, slated for Monday, May 8.

Though details on format have not been decided, discussion among Council members that evening seemed to indicate that a more informal town hall style would be appropriate.

Many citizens left the April 11 community meeting at Randolph-Macon College very dissatisfied with time allotted for their questions and comments, as well as the lack of an agenda.

Ashland and Hanover County residents need to stay in touch with their elected and appointed officials regarding this massive development proposal and its batch of issues. Go to:

Citizen input is vital for quality of life.


Hanover Comp Plan public input sessions slated for active living, housing and rural character sections

Starting April 17, Envision Hanover will hold public input sessions for draft Comp Plan sections on active living, housing and rural character. This schedule offers in-person and virtual opportunities for citizens to speak with Planning staff regarding the developing update of Hanover’s 2023 Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

In-Person Meetings

The public is invited to attend one of the in-person events scheduled for April and early May:

  • Monday, April 17, 2023 (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.): Atlee Library
  • Monday, April 24, 2023 (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.): Taylor Park Complex
  • Thursday, April 27, 2023 (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.): Montpelier Community Center
  • Monday, May 1, 2023 (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.): Mechanicsville Library

The same information will be presented at each of these meetings, so interested parties can attend whichever date or location best suits their schedules.


Stop and Chat Event (Informal Office Hours)

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2023 (12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.): Mechanicsville Library

Ashland Town Council to consider Comp Plan Amendment for Ironhorse Business Park April 18

After a 30-day deferral on CPA2022-06, Ashland Town Council on April 18 at their 6:30 p.m. meeting will consider this Comprehensive Plan Amendment to change land use to allow the rezoning application for Ironhorse Business Park.

The proposed industrial and interstate commercial development is approximately 230 acres that straddles the Town’s eastern border with Hanover County along Rte 54. The Town’s portion of the development is about 100 acres. Traffic woes, environmental degradation and damage to existing neighborhoods are major concerns for citizens.

An April 11 joint Community Meeting of Town and County citizens, Planning staffs and developer was a contentious, unfruitful two-hour event held in Copley Hall on the Randolph-Macon College campus. After remarks from the respective Planning staffs, developers and their attorney held the floor for most of that time, often touting the attributes of their Ironhorse proposal over the defunct East Ashland project of ten years past. This choice of presentation was irrelevant, confusing and dismal. After almost 90 minutes of the “developer’s meeting”, residents were finally able to ask questions and make comments by shouting from the floor for speaking time.

Quality of life will take a hit if this uninspired and uninspiring development is given a green light. Wise and thoughtful land use planning is imperative if Ashland and Hanover County wish to retain a sense of place different from “Anywhere, USA.”

Attend the Town Council meeting, Tuesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall. Contact your Town Council and Supervisors:

Speak up for a better vision for Ashland and Hanover.

Community meeting April 11 for Ironhorse Business Park

A joint community meeting of Town and County citizens, Planning staffs and developers is scheduled Tuesday, April 11, 6:00 p.m. in Copley Science Center, #100, on the Randolph-Macon College campus.

The meeting is a followup to a motion by Ashland Town Council March 21 to defer CPA2022-06 for 30 days and to hold a community meeting. The comprehensive plan amendment will change land use to allow an upcoming rezoning application for the Ironhorse Business Park.

The proposal consists of 230 acres lying in both Town and County of interstate commercial, industrial warehouse space and residential. The “flex” warehouse spaces amount to 1.9 million square feet in 14 buildings. Commercial interstate businesses–gas station, hotel and quick in/out restaurants–are shown on the design plan.

In short, the Ironhorse Business Park will bring more traffic to an overburdened Exit 92 and road system, fracture open and rural green landscape at the Town-County interface, add excessive warehouse spaces to an inventory of 14.64 million square feet; another 11.3 million square feet is waiting in the wings.

Additionally, this Town-County area is now rural residential. Commercial and industrial zoning is out of sync with the existing neighborhoods.

Quality of life stands to suffer. Attend the meeting and contact Ashland Town Council members:

Steve Trivett

John Hodges

Daniel McGraw

Kathleen Abbott

Anita Barnhart

Don’t let your future be handed to you. The citizen voice matters.

Town Council defers Ironhorse CPA for 30 days

At their March 21 meeting, Ashland Town Council voted 5-0 to defer the comprehensive plan amendment application for Ironhorse Business Park (CPA2022-06) for 30 days.

A provision of the deferral is to hold a joint community meeting of Town and County citizens, planning staffs and developer before Council’s April 18 meeting.

About 20 citizens spoke at the hearing and many wrote emails and letters to Town Council ahead of the public hearing. Residents noted traffic problems currently occurring on and around Mount Hermon Road and adjacent neighborhoods as well as environmental degradation and overabundance of warehouse square footage.

The comprehensive plan amendment is needed in order to change the land use to Interstate Commercial, Office/Industrial and Open Space from its existing “East Ashland” zoning (in 2010) of Interstate commercial, Traditional Neighborhood, Town Edge and Open Space.

A rezoning application will likely follow after the CPA is approved.

The citizen voice matters. Thank you for your voice.