Shenandoah County Supervisors table controversial Oranda rezoning

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 10:30 AM EDT
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WOODSTOCK, Va. (WHSV) - On Tuesday night the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to table a controversial rezoning request for a large property just outside of Strasburg.

Shockey Precast, a Winchester-based developer, is hoping to rezone more than 98 acres off of Oranda Road from agricultural to industrial zoning.

A number of people in the Strasburg area and the Oranda community have spoken out against the proposed rezoning citing concerns like the site’s lack of public water connection and the fact that the developer hasn’t said what would eventually be built on the property.

During the discussion of the request, supervisors said that despite there having been two public hearings on the rezoning there has been a lot of confusion and conflicting information coming from the public about the proposal.

“I just think there’s information out there to be cleared up. I hear that the applicant is willing to answer any questions, and I hear they’re willing to let people take field trips, all I’m saying is just go out and be as open as possible, and try to get as many facts as possible. That’s what I’m trying to do and that’s why I want to table the thing,” said Tim Taylor, Shenandoah County District 6 Supervisor.

The board decided to table the request citing the need for more of a dialogue between the developer and the public and more clarification about what the water and traffic impacts of industrial development on the site would be.

“This is one of the most difficult issues I’ve dealt with in my 15 years and you just want to take time to make sure we get the input from everybody. Let’s just catch our breath a little bit and try to have staff come up with a gameplan to get out in the community and do the best we can on this decision,” said Steven Baker, District 2 Supervisor.

District 5 Supervisor Dennis Morris said he has heard from well over 100 people who are against the rezoning and was prepared to vote for denial but was onboard with tabling the request.

“We can’t forget what we have been hearing the last 8,9, or 10 weeks from people county-wide. We don’t want to lose that in the shuffle, these people have done their homework,” said Morris.

Supervisors discussed the possibility of the county helping coordinate public meetings with the developer to create more public involvement and clarify the confusion. District 3 Supervisor Brad Pollack also pitched the idea of creating a county-wide survey on the matter.