TAZEWELL, Va. – A proposed zoning ordinance for the Eastern District of Tazewell County could be up for public comment as early as this spring.
The ordinance as currently proposed would protect the Eastern District, which includes Bluefield, Va. and Springville, from so-called undesirable developments, including wind turbines and medical waste facilities.
“The zoning ordinance is nearing its final stages of drafting, and will hopefully be coming out of the planning commission” Charlie Stacy, the Eastern District member and current chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said. “Hopefully, it makes it to the board for public hearings by spring. That is my goal. The ordinance is taking shape, and is being critiqued by various different groups to give them some insight and input on the ordinance. I feel very confident that this is on track to be approved in 2015.”
Stacy said Tazewell County is one of only a handful of counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia without zoning. He said the lack of zoning and protection from undesirable developments is often a deterrent to economic development and growth.
East River Mountain in Bluefield, Va., is still the site of a planned wind turbine farm.
Dominion acquired 2,600 acres of land on East River Mountain, near Bluefield, Va., in 2009 for the purpose of developing a large-scale wind turbine farm. However, the project was stalled in 2010 after the supervisors passed a ridgeline protection ordinance preventing the development of tall structures on certain protected ridgelines, including East River Mountain.
The zoning ordinance as currently proposed by the planning commission would only apply to the Eastern District. Stacy said a series of public hearings will be scheduled by the planning commission, and citizens of the Eastern District will be given ample opportunity to provide input regarding the proposal.
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