Community meeting

Upper Magnolia Green Community Reunion: What to Know Before You Go

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) – Chesterfield County will host another community meeting on Thursday, Feb. 3 to gather feedback from residents on the proposed Magnolia Green development.

The meeting will be held in the public meeting room at 10001 Iron Bridge Road at 7 p.m. and will also be broadcast on the county network. Facebook and Youtube pages.

The huge development project, located west of the Swift Creek Reservoir, haits sparked controversyResidents at an earlier community meeting last December raised concerns about the environmental impacts of the project and the disruption it could bring to quiet rural communities.

Upper Magnolia West would be zoned for light industry, while the other side of Powhite Parkway would be used for single-family homes and a 200-acre public use area. (Map provided by Chesterfield County)

Currently, the county is working to gain approval for a massive rezoning, affecting two parcels, which would divide the project into a residential section to the east and an industrial section to the west.

Break promises

The Upper Magnolia Green proposal is a complex project, but there are some key promises the county has made — and some key criticisms county residents have made in response.

First, the county says that before any high-tech research companies or new housing developments move in, the county absolutely must extend Powhite Parkway from its current steep end near Little Tomahawk Creek to Hull Street Road at the west of Swift Creek Reservoir.

It’s an expensive proposition – in a blog post, the county said it could be a $700 million project. But Garrett Hart, Chesterfield’s director of economic development, said the county “would be asking for help from the state and whoever gives it to us” – help he said would only come if the rezoning is approved.

This made some locals suspicious, as it would cause an influx of traffic in the area.

“When we moved to Moseley, we moved there with a purpose, an idea that we would have this quiet community,” Cammie Bennet said 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 offices, with county officials aiming to attract manufacturing of computer chips and high-tech plastics.

The parcel is 700 acres would be divided 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 secondary school facilities.