SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A hearing is scheduled in Suffolk Circuit Court Tuesday in an appeal of the Suffolk City Council’s approval of rezoning 540 acres of property along U.S. Route 460 to support putting 4.7 million square feet of warehouses for the Port 460 Logistics Center, also known as the Port 460 project.

Opponents filed a civil suit back in October, a little more than four weeks after council voted 5-3 in favor of rezoning property from agriculture and general commercial to heavy industrial zoning for the Port 460 project, which has been designed to accommodate 10 warehouses and includes five commercial retail buildings fronting the property along Route 460.

The hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Mayor Mike Duman, along with Roger Fawcett, Donald Goldberg, Lue Ward and LeOtis Williams, voted in favor of the rezoning. Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett, Shelley Butler Barlow and Tim Johnson voted against the rezoning. Goldberg no longer serves on council.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs’ filed a brief with the court March 3 that called the rezoning “wholly unreasonable and arbitrary,” and cited several reasons, including what they said were:

  • the consideration of irrelevant and misleading economic data
  • an incomplete traffic assessment
  • a defective conditional zoning as a result of procedural errors
  • non-compliance with Virginia code
  • using a “Special District” loophole
  • non-conformance with the city’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan

Courtland-based firm Randall, Page & Bruch PC is representing the plaintiffs in the civil suit.

Opposition to the Port 460 project has centered on the projection of increased traffic, especially with trucks, that would result from the project. Opponents have also cited negative effects to the health, safety and welfare of residents, while also detracting from what they say is the city’s rural character.