Our Most Immediate Concern
Preserve Fenton Mill
HELP US SAVE 376 ACRES IN YORK COUNTY FROM REZONING TO HIGH DENSITY!
On March 16, 2021, the York County Board of Supervisors will decide on the Fenton Mill Living proposal to rezone this 376 acres, near 199, from Rural Residential to Planned Development Residential: from 288 single family homes to 599 cluster homes, townhomes and single family homes. COME TO THE MEETING! Tell the Board of Supervisors they work for us, not for big developers!
We need your help to stop out-of-control development, and to protect our region's natural diversity and historic culture.
This new planned community, Fenton Mill Living, is located between two narrow country roads, with no plans to widen them. It is a heavily cycled route that regularly backs up when I-64 is congested. Traffic will feed onto I-64, 199, Rochambeau and Mooretown Road.
This project will be a financial windfall for the developer, but will negatively impact our quality of life and the tourist experience, and it will raise taxes for all York County residents.
This project will impact residents in Williamsburg and James City County as well as lower York County residents. It will:
- permanently alter the character of Upper York County.
- raise taxes for all residents of York County.
- increase student populations beyond our current school capacity
- stress Police, Fire, Rescue and Medical Services
- cause environmental damage, loss of habitat and negatively impact water quality
- contribute to sea level rise, while the Commonwealth is working to combat sea level rise by conserving rural land.
- destroy the aesthetic beauty that brings tourism to our area
- exponentially increase traffic in an already congested corridor: Rochambeau, Mooretown Road, Richmond Road, Airport Road, 199 and I-64!
Fenton Mill Timeline
2014York County Office of Economic Development advertised the land on Fenton Mill RoadIn 2014, the York County Office of Economic Development advertised the land on Fenton Mill Road, in Upper York County, to developers. The vast majority of the land is zoned low-density Rural Residential, but they advertised it as an opportunity to build high-density housing, and touted its easy access to I-64, Richmond and Norfolk.
March 2020Mid-Atlantic Real Estate quietly submitted a request to rezone the Rural Residential portion of the landIn March 2020, Mid-Atlantic Real Estate quietly submitted a request to the York County Planning Commission to rezone the Rural Residential portion of the land to Planned Development Residential (high-density planned community). This would enable them to build 836 homes instead of the 288 allowed by current zoning.
Click here to see the documents submitted by the Developer.
April 2020A group of concerned volunteers started Preserve Fenton MillMid-Atlantic Real Estate owner Buddy Spencer, who sits on the York County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, hoped to quickly have the hearings and approval, while Covid-19 prevented in-person meetings, and before anyone in the affected community noticed. Fortunately, someone did notice. A group of concerned volunteers started Preserve Fenton Mill to sound the alarm, and citizen opposition to the project has been nearly unanimous.
September 2020The Developer Submitted a Revised PlanThe new plan contains 599 homes. At more than twice the number the developer can build by right, we believe that is still too many.
November 2020The York County Planning Commission UNANIMOUSLY Agreed to Recommend DENIAL of the DevelopmentMany thanks to the more than 100 people who braved frigid weather to let the Planning Commission know that they oppose this rezoning, and want York County to abide by its own Comprehensive Plan!
March 16, 2021On MARCH 16 the BOARD of SUPERVISORS WILL DECIDE the Fate of Fenton Mill
On MARCH 16, 2021, the Board of Supervisors will decide the fate of the Fenton Mill rezoning. WE NEED AS MANY PEOPLE AT THE MEETING AS POSSIBLE. PLEASE COME EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIVE IN UPPER YORK, BECAUSE THIS WILL AFFECT YOU, TOO! All of Greater Williamsburg is feeling the impact of overdevelopment, and all of York County will get the tax increase if this plan is approved .
Broader Concerns About the County Leadership
The York County Planning Commission ignores their own plans & surveys
a. Comprehensive Plans:
Since 1990, the Comprehensive Plans have set a target of 80,000 residents by 2035. Through rezoning, we are near that number, fifteen years ahead of predictions.
The 2015 Comprehensive Plan estimated that 400 homes would be built in Upper York County between 2015 and 2020. Instead, over 3,200 homes have been built or approved. 85% of this explosion of residential units has been the result of rezoning.
b. Citizen Surveys:
Citizen surveys show overwhelming opposition to the urbanization of the county. Population growth and unhindered development were the top concerns expressed in the 2019 survey.
DEVELOPERS' VOICES OUTWEIGH CITIZENS' VOICES
a. York County Administration accepts applicants' submissions at face value, and does not vet their environmental, traffic and financial documents for accuracy. This means that their decisions may be made based on one-sided or flawed information from developers.
b. The owner of Mid-Atlantic Real Estate (the very developer of the Fenton Mill Living project) sits on the York County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee which advises the Planning Commission. He enjoys unfettered access to decision makers and to information that we citizens must pay to obtain. The County claims this is legal, but we believe it is unethical at best.
Rural Residents’ Concerns Are Often Dismissed
The rural nature of Upper York seems dispensable to several Lower York representatives, despite its environmental and economic benefits to the County. Rural residents are outnumbered, and the Supervisors frequently outvote them.
Take Action: 10 Things You Can Do
Join our grassroots effort to stop the rezoning of the last large tracts of Historic Triangle land from rural residential to commercial and high-density!
- 6Write to the Planning Commission, the County Administrator and all five members of the Board of Supervisors: Tell them you are opposed to the over-development of rural lands and concerned for our environment.