In Brown Grove Lawsuit Against Hanover Wegmans Distribution Center, Union Hill Cast Long Shadow | state


“What was determined was that in Hanover County was the ultimate epicenter, if you will, of where this facility was to be located in order to minimize the number of road kilometers we have,” Dan Aken, director of real estate for Wegmans Food Markets, told the National Water Control Board in March. And the site near Brown Grove, he said, was preferable to four other sites identified in the county.

Many residents of neighboring neighborhoods disagreed. Sliding Hill and Ashcake roads, which workers and trucks would travel along, are narrow, dangerous for heavy traffic and often flooded, they argued. In the April 30 press conference, Brown Grove Baptist Church deacon Kenneth Spurlock said 17 accidents had occurred on Ashcake Road outside the church in recent years; two months earlier, one had damaged the sign and the doors of the church.

“We even had to get out of Bible study once and put a car back on its wheels so people could get out,” he said. “And now, on that same road, you have Wegmans proposing to build a distribution center.”

The impacts on wetlands have also proved to be a thorny issue. State officials, relying on information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, say the site is home to about 30 acres of wetlands, more than 14 of which will be affected.

Opponents have been skeptical of the calculations, noting that the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s national wetland inventory shows double the number of wetlands at the site and an earlier Corps assessment that only six acres of wetlands would be affected was defective.

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