Eyre Baldwin and Cherrystone LLC has applied to have the Town zoning map for parcel 83A3 – 11 – 2 amended from the current Harbor District designation to Industrial M – 2 District, allowing the firm to create a marine port terminal facility, as well as a large scale, mega-yacht boat repair operation. The Planning Commission as required in Article II Section 2.7.2.A of the Zoning Ordinance, held a public hearing on the application this Monday.
According to Mr. Baldwin, the facility hopes to leverage the port facility for marine, rail, trucking and/or intermodal terminals for transfer, storage, handling, inspection, processing, as well as the transport of containerized, bulk or other cargo.
With the Virginia Department of Transportation improving the adjacent state roadway (Route 642), this could be a transformative moment for the town, providing a robust alternative to tourism related activities by creating an industrial, working waterfront. According to Baldwin, the project has the potential to create many more year-round employment opportunities.
However, this does call into question the Mayor and Council’s decision to not dredge the entire harbor to its full potential (the Town had the option to have the US Army Corps of Engineers dredge the entire channel to a 300ft width, but opted for only 200ft at some locations).
Even as the lots may be zoned Industrial M-2, a special use permit will still be required before the firm can engage in currently approved uses, as well as proposed uses. Dan Brown of Cherrystone told the Cape Charles Mirror that once the new zoning is in place, the firm hopes to begin build out plans this fall.
A public hearing on this project has been set by Town Council for Monday August 15th, 6:00 at the Cape Charles Civic Center, 500 Tazewell Avenue.