Businesses eye development at Zion Crossroads

By Heather Michon

Businesses eyeing industrial and commercial development in the Zion Crossroads area held community meetings on Wednesday and Thursday nights (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) to introduce their proposals to a sometimes skeptical public.

First up was S.B. Cox, a demolition and recycling company headquartered in Richmond, which is seeking to build a material recovery facility on Memory Lane off Rt. 250. About 20 members of the public attended the meeting at Beaver Dam Baptist Church on Wednesday night.

Ann Neil Cosby, an attorney working with S.B. Cox, said the facility would encompass about 16 acres of the 90-acre site. Once operational, the facility is expected to have the capacity to process 1,000 tons of construction and demolition debris per day. 

Representatives for the company stressed that the property would not function as a landfill. Instead, employees will sort through the material to pick out recyclables like untreated wood, concrete, and steel. Once processed, most material will be moved off-site. 

Cosby offered a long list of proffers that S.B. Cox was offering the county, including a 100-foot tree buffer around the entire site and low lighting to preserve dark skies. They will also work to build the facility in a way that reduces potential sources of noise for the nearby Fox Glen subdivision and other area residents.

“We’re cognizant of wanting to be good neighbors,” she said.

The Q&A grew heated at times as residents quizzed company representatives and county staff on noise pollution, traffic impacts, and water usage.

Of most concern was the impact of up to 100 trucks a day driving up and down Memory Lane to drop off or pick up heavy loads of debris. This will have an impact on residents of Memory Lane, as trucks could potentially be running from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days of the week.

One resident said the county never should have approved Fox Glen subdivision, a quiet rural neighborhood that now finds itself near a burgeoning industrial zone. “It’s a very flawed situation from a planning perspective,” he said.

S.B. Cox is seeking a Special Use Permit (SUP) to move forward with the project. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the SUP on Jan. 10.


The meetings on Tuesday night had only a small audience and carry less potential impact for the area.

First up was David Ordel of Keswick, who described his plans to build a small shop for repairing and selling used farm machinery. “There’s really not many places other than Orange or the Valley where you can buy a used tractor or a hay baler,” he said. 

He is looking at taking a six-acre site in the Zion Crossroads area, with hopes to “clean it up and make it look real attractive.” Along with farm equipment, he might also offer hay and other animal feed for sale, and is talking with an Amish woodworker in the Farmville area about potentially selling sheds and other items.

First, he needs the property rezoned from A-1 (Agricultural) to B-1 (Business). The request will go before the Planning Commission at its December meeting.


In the final meeting of the week, Kelsey Schlein of Shimp Engineering gave a presentation on a new warehouse facility on Rt. 250 near Memory Lane. 

The developer hopes to build flexible warehouse space best suited to small businesses that need between 1,800-5,000 square feet. Schlein showed a concept plan envisioning six buildings on the 13-acre site but said the final site plan could end up being built-to-suit workspaces depending on how the developer decided to proceed. 

The property is comprised of three parcels of land, two of which are already zoned for industrial use. They are applying to have the third parcel rezoned from agricultural use to industrial. The request will be subject to a public hearing before the Planning Commission at its December or January meeting.

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