CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) -Residents in Chesapeake’s Homestead community are upset about the city’s plan to build a new warehouse right in their backyard.
The proposed Cargo Handling Facility includes a 200,000-square-foot warehouse, and a 720-container storage stacked four high at approximately 35 feet that will operate 24 hours 7 days a week.
The site of the new project and the Homestead neighborhood are joined by the acres of what could be rezoned from residential (R-15) and Business (B-3) to (M-1) Light Industrial.
Residents Stafford and Marcella Davis bought their house in Homestead in 2015 and they say they are worried about their property value going down due to the new proposed development.
“The spaces and the lots, they were designated residential and light industrial, that is a joke to slide this in here without us knowing,” Stafford said. “Look we have within two miles of our home, we have 4 trailer hitch yards, container storage yards. We do not understand why they need another one.”
The Davis’ aren’t alone. The Basnight’s are equally upset that the woods behind their home would disappear.
“I know what this work is about. I know about the containers. I know the pollution and truck traffic it causes. I know the impact on my community would change,” Kevin Basnight said.
Stafford and Marcella also believe their Homestead community is being targeted for this development.
“Yes, I do believe this community is being targeted…we are black, white, Hispanic everything. This is where they choose to put it, and we are getting tired of this. We are tired of being put at the bottom of the barrel,” Marcella explained.
Resident Sondra Pitts has similar feelings.
“You won’t go to Edinburgh with all that property and build this then what makes you think we are going to accept your coming here building it in our backyard?” Pitts said.
Attorney Grady Palmer with William Mullins is representing the proposed rezoning project and sent 10 On Your Side the following statement:
This proposed industrial project is consistent with the City of Chesapeake’s comprehensive plan for Military Highway and the City’s economic development goals to benefit all of its citizens.
We understand that the project needs to be a good neighbor with the surrounding communities and we have gone to great lengths to implement measures to protect those communities while preserving the economic benefits to Chesapeake.
We are working with the owner of the Plantation Mobile Home Park who is assisting residents with relocation efforts.
As you know, the Port of Virginia is growing, and the proposed facility will support that growth. We anticipate that the proposal will generate approximately $100 million in capital investment and will create over 200 good paying jobs.”Attorney Grady Palmer with William Mullins
The Chesapeake planning commission meets Wednesday, Dec. 14 to decide whether to recommend the construction of a Cargo Handling Facility in the backyard of the Homestead neighborhood. The meeting will take place in the City Council meeting room at Chesapeake City Hall beginning at 7 p.m.