Dominion’s application for a Special Use Permit has struck a nerve in this county. Over 30 acres of land currently zoned for agricultural use along the Scenic Highway would be turned into an industrial zone with over 400 workers a day commuting to this site. Worst of all, an organic farm, located immediately downhill (and downwind of the prevailing winds) would bear the costs of this new neighbor, one with 24/7 security, night lighting, and the noise of countless trucks and pipeline fabrication.
Last week, over 2,000 Virginians, many local to this area, signed a petition for the Board of Zoning Appeals to decline Dominion’s application in their next meeting on Feb. 1. Another 28,000 people from across the country signed the same petition. These were delivered to both the BZA and copied to the Board of Supervisors.
How did the Board of Supervisors respond? Crickets. In their meeting on Jan. 24, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors meekly accepted the fate of one of their constituents at the hands of Dominion Energy, with Chairwoman Carolyn Bragg admonishing the audience that zoning matters were not their jurisdiction, but they would be happy to “listen to your concerns.”