Zoning for Zion Crossroads Wawa approved by Planning Commission

By Heather Michon

Fluvanna County is one step closer to getting a Wawa.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the zoning changes needed to move the project forward at their monthly meeting on Tuesday (May 9).

Ann Neil Cosby, the attorney representing the developers, gave commissioners an overview of the project, which would include a 6,000-square-foot convenience store and deli along with nine fuel pumps. All this would sit on the southwest corner of the Zion Crossroads intersection, with entrances on both Rt. 15 and Rt.  250. 

The request was for a conditional rezoning of a 4.7-acre site from agricultural and industrial use to B-1 (General Business). Cosby noted that a portion of the property would be set aside for future development, possibly as retail or professional office space. 

“We’ve worked really hard with staff to try to listen and create a Wawa on this very busy corner that compliments the environment of Zion Crossroads,” said Cosby.

Community Planning Director Douglas Miles said the developer had been very responsive to concerns about the overall look of the project. The county is working towards developing what Miles terms a “rural-suburban” look that utilizes things like vegetative screening and neutral tones to merge businesses with the natural surroundings.

The developers modified their original site plans to remove some stark white elements from their standard designs and add additional earth tones, along with river-rock veneers to pillars and facings. 

Commissioner Lorretta Johnson-Morgan (Columbia) had some questions about traffic flow in and out of the site. Her concerns were primarily about access on the Rt. 15 side. Once southbound traffic passes the light at the intersection, cars must merge left into a single lane, which already creates a dangerous situation for drivers.

Cosby said the developers were in discussions with VDOT about adding left- and right-turn lanes into the Wawa on both 15 and 250. Chair Barry Bibb (Cunningham) said those modifications would “probably change that whole merging problem,” at least at that section of the road. 

VDOT’s long-term plan for the Zion Crossroads intersection envisions removing the lights in favor of a traffic circle. However, that concept is not currently on their Smart Scale project list and is probably some years away from development.

In their discussion, commissioners voiced their appreciation for the developer’s willingness to work with the county. 

“I think that the applicants have definitely been good neighbors,” said Commissioner Mike Goad (Fork Union), praising them for their openness to input from citizens and county staff. “I’m very pleased that this is potentially going to come to the county, because this is the type of business I would like to see in the Zion Crossroads area on the Fluvanna side.”       

The motion for conditional rezoning passed 5-0.

Earlier in the meeting, Miles gave some updates on other projects currently moving through the development process. He also invited commissioners and members of the public to “Coffee With the County” on Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Fluvanna Community Center in Fork Union. 

Fork Union Supervisor Mozell Booker, County Administrator Eric Dahl, Economic Development Director Jennifer Schmack, and Miles will talk with citizens about the types of development and improvements they want to see in the Fork Union area. 

Further details of the meeting will be circulated by the county later in May.

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