HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Hanover County's Planning Commission made a special exception at their meeting Thursday night and allowed members of the public to express their views on a plan to re-zone part of Mechanicsville.
They ended up getting an earful from homeowners who are outraged.
"The last thing we need in Hanover County is another Midlothian Turnpike," one resident said.
Disdain dripped from the lips of dozens of residents from the Spring Meadows subdivision in Mechanicsville Thursday night.
"Ask yourself this question... how would I feel if a board of untouchables were to come in and do the same thing in my neighborhood that y'all are trying to do in ours?" another man asked.
The planning commission wants to rezone parts of the neighborhood, which would make it possible for single-family homes to be replaced by businesses, apartments and commercial real estate.
But, residents said the vast majority of folks in the neighborhood oppose the plan.
"No more traffic, no stores, no light industry, no apartments, please keep it as it is, I beg you," one woman said.
One woman who identified herself as a senior citizen with multiple health issues pleaded with the county commissioners.
“I thought it would be safe. I thought it would be quiet," she said. "Please keep it as it is. I beg you."
Residents said they believe their home values will drop, the area will become way too congested, and they'll have to move if the board approves the plan.
"Personally, my husband and I cannot afford a $300 - $400,000 house like you guys continue to approve to be built in Hanover," another woman said.
Commissioners will hold a formal public hearing on the issue December 5.
In the meantime, residents hope they will ultimately vote against the plan.
"When you go to bed let your conscience give you your guide," one man said to applause.
Commissioner Randy Whittaker proposed the changes and told us changes could be made to the plan, and residents’ concerns carry a lot of weight.