You asked: Open for business and industry

Published 11:01 am Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Through establishing a new business advisory committee, joining the Virginia Growth Alliance (VGA) and seeking to construct new sewer connections, Buckingham is trying to bring more businesses to the county.

According to County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter, the Buckingham County Community Development Advisory Committee (BCCDAC), which includes representatives from the private sector and local government, meets “to pursue [the] idea for community and business development.”

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The committee, formed in June 2014, focuses on commercial and industrial development in Buckingham County. The committee was initially tasked with with the responsibility of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the county in attracting and maintaining development.

Donnie Bryan, who represents District Two on the board of supervisors and is a leading member of the BCCDAC, proposed the idea of the committee. “We identified several areas of land in the county that could possibly be marketed for development. We contacted the landowners and asked them if we could possibly advertise their land on the VGA website for development.  Unfortunately, there were only two people that responded,” he said.

The VGA is a regional economic development consortium the county joined last December.

Bryan said that the BCCDAC is trying to find a way to “streamline the process … for potential businesses to come to the county.”

“At this time we have contracted with an engineering firm to prepare a design to connect all four corners of [U.S. Routes] 60 and 15 with sewer connections,” Carter said. The county is in the process upgrading its existing sewer system, she said. “Sewer availability and connection must occur in order to attract businesses to that intersection,” Carter said.

Besides Sprouses Corner at 60 and 15, the intersection of Routes 15 and 20 is another area for potential growth.

“The intersection of Routes 15 and 20 is already developed with the exception of the [former Dillwyn Primary] School property which is being marketed by VGA through the Virginia Scan and the Virginia Department of Economic Development. Bringing the sewer to that corner is what brought the businesses there,” Carter said. 

Besides the former school property, “there is really no room [for growth] at that specific intersection,” she said.

She said the county is working on a plan to better market the industrial park, which was rezoned recently to be inclusive of a wider variety of business and mixed use opportunities.

The purpose of the new zone, which encompasses the approximately 160-acre park, is to “encourage cluster development of residential, commercial and public uses, thereby helping to discourage random scattering of these uses throughout agricultural and forested areas,” according to county documents.

The park is located along Wingo Road and Main Street southwest of Dillwyn.

While the primary purpose of the new zoning district is to permit business uses, “some industry which will be unlikely to generate noise, light, odors, smoke or other obnoxious influences may be allowed,” according to county documents.

Some of the permitted uses include golf courses, greenhouses, day-care centers, hotels, assisted-living facilities, restaurants, beauty shops and emergency service facilities.

Carter said that the Routes 15 and 20 intersection has “boomed with development and we are hoping for the same results at 15 and 60. …”