Planning commission votes to ‘keep Montpelier rural’

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Residents in Hanover County who have been fighting to keep Montpelier rural celebrated a victory Thursday after the planning commission decided to block the development of a 40-acre property off Route 33.

With a unanimous vote, the planning commission has denied a request to amend the county’s comprehensive plan. Now the plan moves forward to the Hanover County Board of Supervisors for further review.

“I didn’t move here for stuff like that and I certainly don’t want it,” area property owner Patricia Buzzard told 8News.

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Neighbors like Buzzard were afraid the Mountain Road project would bring traffic, noise and water pollution to their properties.

“I’m concerned about my wells, about the creek that runs through my property, noise pollution and light pollution,” Buzzard added. 

Residents came out in force against plans to turn 40 acres of farm land into 8,000 square foot convenience center. The plans included a gas station, restaurant and convenience store.

Supporters of the project, however, argue that Montpelier has no choice but to eventually expand.

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“It would allow our community increased options for fuel, family dining and gathering places in our community,” Kelly Schips said. “Growth is gonna happen. Whether we like it or not, it has to happen for a community to develop and grow.”

Ultimately, residents fighting to keep Montpelier rural won with the planning commission deciding the proposal is out of line with Hanover County’s comprehensive plan.

“People like me who escaped Short Pump years ago to get what we have in Montpelier,” Ed Gooding said. “That’s one of the reasons I’m fighting to preserve that.”

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