HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A group of Hanover residents is trying to put a temporary halt to new development. They worry growth across the county is too much, too soon.
Since 2011, the county has approved construction of more than 900 homes, townhouses, and apartments in the Atlee area alone.
“I understand why developers want to build in that area,” says Web Stokes, “It’s the same reason most of us moved there and that’s because the schools are great. The location is great and Hanover just in general is a great place to be.”
Stokes just launched a petition drive that asks the county for a moratorium on new residential developments in Hanover.
The biggest concern is the proposed Taylor Farm subdivision. it would be built in a now wooded area off of Honey Meadows Road.
The location is near Atlee Station Road which is just a two-lane thoroughfare that critics contend is already struggling to handle traffic from three county schools.
“Traffic has been backed up even with a guard at Atlee Station and Honey Meadows Road, all the way back to the school. That’s a third of a mile,” explains resident Bob Nelson. He lives a stone’s throw from where the proposed subdivision would be built.
Residents are also worried that adding more homes could lead to overpopulating schools.
Although according to Hanover County Public Schools, Atlee High, Chickahominy Middle and Cool Spring Elementary are all under capacity.
Opponents want Hanover to hold off on more growth until what’s already started is finished.
“See those homes get developed and when and if they get developed, take account of the situation and act accordingly,” adds Nelson.
We reached out to Hanover County Supervisor Angela Kelly-Wiecek, who represents the Atlee area.
She responded, “We want you and our citizens to know that we recognize this petition grows from serious concerns. We hear their concerns, and we are committed to working to address them.
That being said, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that there is no authority for localities to impose a “moratorium” on rezoning applications. Hanover County does have extensive plans to assure that roads, schools, public safety, recreation, utilities and other public facilities meet the needs of current and future residents of the County. These plans are developed by the Planning Commission, School Board, Board of Supervisors and several Board committees in public meetings in which residents are strongly encouraged to attend and participate.”
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.