Frequently asked questions

Why was this page started?

To ensure that the citizens of Hanover County are informed about the proposed project. Hanover citizens are looking for a source of accurate and unbiased information. The process to bring Wegmans to Hanover County was handled in a way that subverted the rights of citizens.

Why are people upset if they chose to live next to a property zoned for industrial use?

This has been a Hanover County and Wegmans talking point, so it is understandable that many people think this is a fact, but residents didn't do this. They bought near undeveloped land with special legal protections in place.

Businesses and elected officials have a vested interest in maintaining a positive public image. It is up to us to think critically about what they are telling us and sort through that information to reach the WHOLE truth.
With regards to this project, zoning is the most important issue facing residents. Land zoning is can be complicated, but it is fair to say that the current zoning limits permissible light industrial uses.

Way back in 1995, a request was made to change the zoning at the proposed site from agricultural to light industrial, but there were already neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity and residents had serious reservations about the proposed change. Being reasonable people, a compromise was reached. The zoning change was approved, but with very specific conditions. These conditions, called "proffers", are legally binding amendments to the light industrial zoning that was granted. These proffers were added for the purpose of protecting residents from a project like the Wegmans Distribution Center. The expectation was that small to medium size businesses with retail fronts like locksmiths, cabinet shops, contractors, sign makers, etc., would fill the space.

The statement that "Residents bought next to an industrial area" is simply inaccurate. Residents bought property with special legal protections. Many residents believe that those protections are being ignored by the County or Wegmans.

Wegmans says they can build a distribution center on the proposed site today, without any changes to the zoning. Is this true?

Sure Wegmans can build something now, but Wegmans is unable to build their proposed 1.1 million square foot distribution center/warehouse/truck terminal without significant changes to the zoning (through proffer amendments). There are numerous modifications that Wegmans would need to make to their proposal to align with the existing (1995) zoning proffers. For example, limiting the height of light poles, putting an attractive facade on the building, limiting the building height, etc.

I don't live next to this project, why should I care?

There are four main reasons to be concerned about how this project is being handled.

1) The county is planning to raise taxes in the near future, through higher property assessments. The supervisors also just voted to grant millions of dollars in tax incentives to Wegmans in exchange for locating here, without input from citizens.
2) This project will require extensive infrastructure improvements. Many citizens are justifiably concerned that this one project will direct resources from other parts of the county, to this project. They are concerned to see the needs in other districts, put on hold, just to bring in a company that is already getting special tax treatment. 3) Lots of people feel that the benefits associated with this project have been overestimated while the drawbacks have been underestimated or overlooked entirely. 4) This is about more than one project. People have been talking about how county officials in Hanover have been focused on growth, but have failed to consider the rights of citizens that already live here. Because of the scale of this project, it has been the first to affect a large number of people at once. The residents have since learned that many of the practices being used in this project have been, and will continue to be, used on residents in other parts of the county. People are starting to take notice of the disorganized growth that seems to benefit developers but sacrifices good planning

How can I help?

There is such a need for assistance right now, there is certain to be something you can do.

First things first, take the time to get connected and stay informed going forward.
Start by bookmarking this page. Please bookmark it now so you remember. Connect with the various facebook pages and groups that people have made: Protect Hanover Page Hanover Board Recall Page Facebook Group Go to the Board of Supervisors Recall Form and provide contact information that will ONLY be used in case of an official recall event. Once you are connected, help us spread the word. Share this website with friends. We need to inform people. People need to hear more than the "official" side of this story.

If you are connected through all the methods above, you will see numerous calls to action. You can contact the media, write and call county representatives, attend public meetings, collect recall signatures, just to name a few examples!

Are there plans to recall any Board Members?

There have been steps taken to explore that option. If you want to learn more about that, please visit the Facebook page for that undertaking at: . You do NOT need to sign up for Facebook to visit and read that page.

Can we do anything to restrict traffic on certain streets?

It appears that there are certain things that can be done to accomplish this, but it would require support from the county. At this point, the Board of Supervisors has been non-committal.