Lawsuit filed against zoning decision

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 19, 2021

Two Cumberland County residents have filed a lawsuit against the Board of Supervisors in response to its approval to rezone a plot of land off Route 45 local business owners hope to turn into a meat processing facility.

In February, the board voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of the land from A-2 General Agricultural to M-2 Industrial.

Business owners Harold Collins and Margaret Taylor-Collins hope to use the 20-acre parcel to construct and operate a central Virginia producers cooperative and meat processing facility which would also serve as a farm market and agritourism/education center.

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The court case, filed March 11 by Darin and Phyllis Justus, who own land adjacent to the proposed processing facility, alleges that the board’s decision to rezone the land was “arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, ultra vires and contrary to statutory mandates.”

Among many allegations, the petitioners claim the supervisors knowingly violated Virginia statutes by choosing to proceed with the vote under an expired comprehensive plan. The case also cited the plaintiffs’ concerns surrounding possible noise, pollution and odors should the facility be constructed.

Neither county officials nor Collins commented on the suit or its potential impact on the progression of the processing facility.