Monday, January 30, 2023

James City County Board of Supervisors Approves Second Hazelwood Farms Center

The James City County Board of Supervisors approved the Hazelwood Farms’ Enterprise Center in a 3-2 vote Tuesday night. (WYDaily/Molly Feser)

JAMES CITY COUNTY — During the Tuesday, Feb. 8 meeting of the James City County (JCC) Board of Supervisors, the Board approved the Enterprise Center, which is the second proposed redevelopment for Hazelwood Farms Center.

In a 3-2 vote Tuesday night, the Board approved the proposed rezoning of approximately 328 acres of land located at 301 Old Stage Rd., 9211 Old Stage Rd., 275 Old Stage Rd., and the portion of 9400 Barnes Rd. which is south of I-64, for a new development called The Enterprise Center.

The Enterprise Center will include up to more than three million square feet of warehouse and industrial use and up to 75,000 square feet of commercial use.

The Center would include a fast food restaurant, extension of public water and sewer facilities, textile manufacturing structures, and a convenience store.

In December, the Board approved one of the proposed developments called The Village Center, which will be located on Old Stage Road and is envisioned as an entertainment, retail, office and business support complex.

JCC residents and members of the Board have been divided regarding the ongoing effort by the Hazelwood Farms, LLC property owners to rezone the land in order to build new developments.

Many citizens have raised concerns over the future impacts that the developments would have on traffic and the preservation of the area’s rural landscape.

“On behalf of concerned citizens, we ask for your help in striking a balance between the development and preservation of our irreplaceable community character,” said resident Eric Joss, who spoke on behalf of nonprofit community organization, Friends of Forge Road and Toano. “Regrettably, this proposed project in its present form does not strike this balance.”

He noted that residents of the County have stated “overwhelmingly” that preserving the rural landscape is a high priority.

Meanwhile, Berkeley District supervisor Ruth Larson and Vice Chairman Sue Sadler pointed out that the land is technically not rural and has been zoned for business.

“I know change can be difficult at times, but I feel confident that the Hazelwood family, who has owned this property for decades, probably long before most of us were even here, and paid all of the taxes and all of the insurance on it for as long as they possibly could have, have gone through all of the public process and they have the community’s best interest at heart,” Sadler said.

Chairman John McGlennon was not in favor of the project.

“While property owners absolutely have the right to do what they wish with their property within the bounds of our laws and ordinances, it’s also important to remember that they do not have the right to develop the property in ways that have terrible adverse impact on citizens,” he said.

The Board approved the project in a 3-2 vote, with Larson, Sadler and Powhatan District supervisor Michael Hipple voting in favor and McGlennon and Jamestown District supervisor Jim Icenhour voting against it.

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