Stop Rezoning for Wegmans Shopping Center-Great Store, Wrong Location

This petition made change with 100 supporters!

Newport News, VA: The Peninsula Airport Commission (Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport) has requested that 33.37 acres of property at the corner of Brick Kiln Blvd and Jefferson Avenue be rezoned from Light Industrial to Retail/Commercial so that a 140,000 sq ft grocery store + 74,500 sq ft of other retail, along with a minimum of 1,362 surface parking spaces may be developed there if the FAA approves the plan.  The location is at the interchange of I-64 and Jefferson Avenue, on Airport Property.  Access will be from Brick Kiln Blvd. The anchor grocery store proposed is Wegmans. The reason Wegmans has selected this location is the 80,000 vehicles per day driving through this location and the demographics of the residents in the area.

This petition is to oppose this rezoning request and prevent the development of Retail/Commercial at this overly congested location, which is already surrounded by eleven (11) groceries within 3 miles, including the regional draws of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, and soon to be Aldi and Lindl.  While everyone on the Newport News City Council agrees that a Wegmans in Newport News is a great idea, those opposed and most of the citizens that are opposed do not think this is a good location

  • The traffic infrastructure along the Jefferson Avenue corridor is not supporting what is already there.  The City is urged to put the infrastructure in place before adding more commercial/retail.
  • Small businesses in the area already suffering because of traffic conditions.
  • There are large, empty storefronts throughout the City that could be revitalized before taking away green space, such as this property and City Farm.
  • None of the other Virginia Wegmans have their primary or secondary access/entrances on a roadway that also serves as the main entrance into a residential area.  Residents of Kiln Creek already have a huge issue with cut-through traffic due to drivers trying to avoid  I-64 or to get from Victory Blvd to Jefferson Ave.  The proposed shopping center will only be accessible by entering Birck Kiln Blvd.
  • The Airport Master Plan does not reflect the type of large scale retail/commercial development that is being proposed.  The Airport Master Plan shows a small cluster of stores that does not generate the traffic that a larger retail development does, such as that being proposed. 
  • Portions of the development site and new roadway alignments will be IN the airport's runway protection zone ("crash zone"), with most wedged BETWEEN two runway protection zones.  This will expose patrons to the potential dangers of an airline crash.
  • The property in question has been zoned Light Industrial for 30 years and it has not been developed. The airport is currently advertising to lease only 18 acres. If it were to be developed as Light Industrial, the traffic generated will be much less that a large retail development would generate.  
  • This area is prone to be wet and thus, adding more asphalt, concrete, and buildings (impervious surfaces) is not beneficial for the environment.  An environmental impact study has not been completed
  • This proposed development is inconsistent with fourteen (14) relevant policies and strategies referenced Future Land Use, Transportation, and Economic Development in the City's adopted Framework of the Future 2030 Comprehensive Plan.  Examples include: Protecting the integrity of established neighborhoods, minimizing the negative aspects of growth on the environment and quality of life, protect neighborhoods from negative intrusions, protect the viabilty of the City's commerce centers, reduce speeding and cut-through traffic in residential neighborhoods, evaluate the economic impact on existing commercial centers before reaoning or assisting in the development of new commercial projects.
  • The City expects TAXPAYERS, not the Developer, to fund the roadway changes needed to make this happen ($1M from the Airport Commission, $2M from the City of Newport News, and $3M from the State).  If the State doesn't come through, then taxpayers will have to foot the $5M needed for roadway changes.  Why isn't the Developer funding if they want this location so badly?  More importantly, why would the City dump $3 - $5 for another shopping center instead of putting needed funding in capital improvements in our school?
  • City Manager Jim Bourey is also Chairman of the Airport Commission, the applicant for the rezoning.  This is a blantant conflict of interest.  Councilwoman Sharon Scott is also on the Airport Commission and refuses to recuse herself from the vote. 
  • Wegmans is described as an “omnivorous competitor” that is estimated to pull 65 - 77% of its revenues from existing Newport News grocers, restaurants, fast food, & ‘Club’ stores. 35 - 23% of its revenues will be from other Peninsula stores. 
  • At the May 10th, 2016, Newport News City Council meeting, Mayor Price stated that "City Council had received numerous email messages for and against, most against...When he mentioned the possibility of a Wegmans coming to Newport News, citizens from out of town shared nothing but elation."  Mayor Price is not listening to the people he was elected to serve, but to "citizens from out of town!"  
  • A shopping center in this location is a BAD Idea.  Share your opposition by adding your name and they sharing the petition with others.

Today: Diana is counting on you

Diana Mason needs your help with “Newport News City Council: Stop Rezoning of 33 Acres at Corner of Brick Kiln Blvd & Jefferson Ave, Newport News, VA”. Join Diana and 99 supporters today.