Friday, October 5, 2007


My name is Paul Costello. The main reason why myself and others have formed Keep Goochland Beautiful is that the time has come for us to speak out. The Board of Supervisors (“BOS”) is now keenly aware of the strong community opposition to the proposed business rezoning and strip mall development behind Satterwhite’s Restaurant. The outcry against this proposal has been clear and concise. In fact, it is great to see so many residents speaking out in public forums and then following up with formal letters to the BOS about the significant concerns we have with this half-baked proposal.

To those who live close to this area, this proposed project is absurd due to the obvious traffic and safety issues. However, the BOS have conveyed to us they have a responsibility to consider all rezoning applications.

Fortunately, we have already shown that the proposed rezoning of this 10.29 acre site is NOT a matter of public necessity, convenience, and general welfare, and will clearly fall short of good zoning practice.

Site of proposed new strip mall behind Satterwhites

The definition of “good zoning practice” can mean different things to different people. To developers it could mean bigger is better, higher density, greater profits, etc. To the residents of Goochland, is means to preserve our rural setting and control growth.

As it pertains to this site, the Comprehensive Plan prepared in 2003 initially showed this 10.29 acre site as suitable for limited business within the context of the Village Concept.

However, the following year, an independent study was prepared in cooperation with Virginia Commonwealth University Urban and Regional Planning Program which formally recommended that this 10.29 acre site not be rezoned from Agricultural Limited, District A-2 to Business General, District, B-1. In fact, this unbiased, objective, “good rezoning practice” report recommended that the Comprehensive Plan be amended to rezone this site to residential.

Fast-food joints and other chain stores would ruin the character of Centerville

It would be irresponsible for the BOS to approve this project given the facts at hand. Even so, we have been notified that two partners, Richards Nuckols and Lit Thomson’s (aka Manakin Properties, LLC) will be filing their application to rezone the 10.29 +/- acres designated as Tax Map Parcels 47-1-34 & 47-1-34A from Agricultural Limited, District A-2 to Business General, District, B-1 within days. Although ridiculous, they have already hired a lawyer to help them convince the BOS that they are in a position of unnecessary hardship unless they can rezone this property. In my book, simply saying they can’t make as money as they want doesn’t cut it.

My hope is that BOS will not try to punish the residents for speaking out against this proposed rezoning and approve it just to prove they have the power to make things happen – with or without community support. If this scenario plays out and the BOS does approve this rezoning request against our traffic, safety and zoning concerns, we would be in very strong position to file a lawsuit appealing their approval.

Turning left onto Broad Street from Manakin Road is already a death defying act

The Compressive Plan and the VCU Study both establish a unified vision for Centerville Village as represented by the following key attributes:

· The master site plan for Centerville Village will be designed to preserve the rural character of Goochland
· Centerville Village will be largely residential in use, characterized by village orientated shops or stores (not allowing any new individual shop or store to be in excess of 2,000 square feet of floor area)
· Open spaces
· Slow speed limits within Village boundaries
· Sidewalks, cross-walks, bike lanes, pedestrian scale lighting
· Complimentary building designs and architectural treatments
· Retaining as much of existing landscaping as possible and avoid mass clearing because its easier for developers
· Add trees and other supplemental landscaping that ensures against large expanses of parking. Build new infrastructure that aligns parking areas with internal roads and driveways to create a village grid system.

Centerville "Village" should be a showcase for Goochland County

We clearly have the opportunity to create a distinctive sense of place in Centerville Village that we can all be proud of. We can not succumb to having traditional retail and residential areas in our village be replaced with large, generic strip malls. If this rezoning application is approved, we will soon wake up one day to find that our beautiful rural landscape has been consumed, and that our agriculture and residential areas have been converted to commercial uses.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

amem! i live in very immediate centerville area. i live in a home that is zoned commercial. my family has owned this property for more than 50 years and have much change from here.however, all this change is inevitable...the city is slowly inching this way....and has made many people with businesses in centerville very wealthy people...the rich get richer.we all want a piece of the pie, but need to draw a line somewhere.centerville is so broken zoned!! and it is completly all about the money!!! business squatted in the middle of agriculture property ( well they got the special permit of course)but yet homes that cant have a pet chicken!!!next they will tell me i cant grow a veggie garden too!!!!all about the money in goochie land....thats my opinion