BLUEFIELD, Va. – Property owners living within the Eastern District of Tazewell County will soon be notified by mail of a proposed zoning ordinance that is in the works.
The zoning ordinance as currently proposed would restrict certain developments within the Eastern District, including wind turbines and medical waste incinerators. The Eastern District includes the Bluefield, Va., and Springville areas.
The county Board of Supervisors are tentatively looking at a mid-to-late February date for a joint public hearing with the county’s Planning Commission to receive public input on the proposed zoning plan. The board is expected to set the public hearing date in early February.
“We have to send notices to every land owner affected by it,” Charles Stacy, the board’s Eastern District supervisor, said. “The code requires that because you are passing an ordinance that may have an impact on their property. And when people start getting direct mailing from the county that may stir even more interest and questions.”
Stacy said the joint public hearing with the planning commission won’t be set until property owners in the Eastern District are contacted by mail.
“It (the public hearing) couldn’t be done any earlier than middle February because we couldn’t get all of those notices out (before then),” Stacy said.
The county’s planning commission has spent more than a year drafting the proposed ordinance.
According to Stacy, there are fewer than nine counties and cities in Virginia that currently do not have a zoning ordinance – and Tazewell County is one of the nine.
One company that is not currently in support of the zoning plan is Dominion Energy. Dominion has proposed the development of a large-scale wind turbine farm along 2,600 acres of land high atop East River Mountain that the company acquired back in 2009.
James R. Tew III, business development manager for Dominion Virginia Power, told the county’s planning commission during a public forum in Bluefield, Va., last month that the project would provide 150 jobs during the three-year construction period and generate an estimated $22 million in tax revenues for Tazewell County over a 25-year period. However, as currently proposed, the project would only create 10 permanent jobs.
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