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Chesterfield County Approves New Developments That Could Strain Nearby Schools

Picture of a plaque that says A National School of Excellence
With all the new multi-family developments being built around the county, many schools could see a spike in enrollment in schools that are at or over capacity. (Photo: Crixells Mattews/VPM News)

Chesterfield Supervisors gave final approval to a number of large, multi-use developments. The projects, known as Starview, Stonebridge and Winchester Green, will add about 2000 new multi-family units to the county. 

This concerns Sonia Smith is president of the Chesterfield Education Association. In her comments to the board, she cited that all the schools surrounding the Stonebridge development, which is the newly redeveloped Clover Hill Mall, are near or over capacity and can’t afford to take in any more.

“A.M. Davis Elementary is at 102-percent capacity; Providence Middle stands at 95-percent capacity and James River High School stands at 88-percent capacity,” she said.  

VPM received a copy of the school capacity from Chesterfield Schools and verify that Smith’s numbers are correct. 

Smith that with the new developments, more students get added to the school system. 

“With each school year that passes, we are bringing in the equivalent of a whole new school,” she said. 

Supervisor Jim Holland voted for the developments but says county leaders need to evaluate school and housing needs together. 

“We have to look at those schools. We have to have a place for those students to go, and teachers to teach them,” he said. 

Holland says the board will be working on creating a new bond referendum to help fund new schools.

One development that didn’t get approved was a project known as Courthouse Landing. The Board sent the proposal back to the Planning Commission. It was the second time the Board discussed the project at a board meeting. 

The 120-acre project proposed adding 600 apartments and townhomes, offices, retail and an open space area located on Courthouse and Iron Bridge Roads near highway 288. County leaders cited concerns about traffic, overcrowding schools and the flight path of geese. 

Supervisor Jim Holland says while he believes investment in his district is sorely needed, the proposal needs improvement. 

“The developer must take the necessary steps to prevent waterfowl from congregating around the property’s stormwater management facilities”

Holland says he’d approve the development if all of his concerns are met. 

Ian Stewart/VPM News

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Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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